HBO PPV Boxing Preview: Valdez vs. Rueda, Crawford vs. Postol
By: William Holmes
Terence Crawford is one of boxing’s best talents and one of Top Rank’s most prized assets. Continued success will likely lead to future and bigger pay per view bouts, but Saturday night will be the first time that he’ll test the waters of pay per view. He will take on Golden Boy Promotions’ Viktor Postol, a credible challenger and a current undefeated title holder, for the WBC and WBO Junior Welterweight Title.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Promotions
Top Rank tried to place WBO Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto Ramirez in the co-main event of the evening in an effort to attract Mexican fans, but an injury to his middle finger on his right hand forced him to withdraw.
However, two time Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez will fight in the co-main event when he takes on Argentinian Matias Adrian Rueda for the WBO Featherweight Title and is one of Mexico’s best young fighters.
The following is a preview of both of the world title fights on the HBO Pay Per View Card, televised live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Oscar Valdez (19-0) vs. Matias Adrian Rueda (26-0); WBO Featherweight Title
Oscar Valdez was electric in his victory over Evgeny Gradovich in his last bout. He took on, an easily and badly defeated the former world champion in only four rounds.
He has seventeen stoppage victories and has stopped four of his past five opponents.
Rueda is also known for his power and has stopped twenty three of his opponents and is currently riding a ten fight knockout streak.
Neither boxer should have a significant edge in either reach or power. Valdez, however, has a much deeper and successful amateur backgroundValdez is a former bronze medalist in the World Amateur Championship and a Gold Medal Winner at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. He also qualified for the Olympics in 2008 and in 2012.
Valdez also has the better profressional resume. He has defeated the likes of Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, Ruben Tamayo, Jose Ramirez, and Alberto Garza. He has also been active and fought four times in 2015 and this will be his second fight in 2016.
Rueda has also been active and fought four times in 2015 and this will also be his second fight in 2016. However, his professional record is void of any impressive wins. This will only be the second time he has fought in the United States and has beaten a large list of unknown boxers in Argentina.
Oscar Valdez was very impressive in his last bout and he will likely steamroll through Matias Adrian Rueda.
Terence Crawford (28-0) vs. Viktor Postol (28-0); WBC/WBO Junior Welterweight Title
This is the best fight that could be made in the junior welterweight division. Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Promotions put aside their differences to match up their two best junior welterweights.
Terence Crawford dominated the lightweight division before jumping up to the junior welterweight division, and the difference in size will likely show as he will be giving up three inches in height and three and a half inches in reach to Postol.
Both boxers were successful on their respective national circuits in the United States and in the Ukraine, but neither experienced major success on the international amateur stage.
Crawford fights out of an orthodox stance, but also switches stances constantly while fighting and confuses his opponent while doing so. Postol fights out of an orthodox stance and has been improving in using his reach to hurt his opponents.
Postol’s best wins were against Lucas Matthysse and Selcuk Aydin. He has also beaten Henry Lundy and DeMarcus Corley.
Postol is good enough to beat most junior welterweights, but this writer does not think he is good enough to beat Crawford. Crawford will have to be slick and get within range while avoiding the jabs of Postol, but Crawford has shown his in-ring savy and intelligence are the best weapons he has.
As long as Crawford remains focused and doesn’t look past Postol towards a possible fight with Pacquiao, he should emerge victorious.
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