In rarity, Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo to fight for all four belts
It’s not often that all four major belts are on the line in a fight, but that’s what we’ll see Saturday when Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo square off in a super lightweight title-unification bout at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. (on ESPN).
“It means a lot to me being it will be the first time that all four belts will be on the line at one time in the division’s history, and it has only been done (four times) in boxing,” said Crawford, of Omaha, Neb. “I’m just ready for the moment and fight time this weekend.”
Each fighter holds two belts, so both have plenty to win and plenty to lose. The difference is Indongo, of Namibia, Africa, will be fighting Crawford in what is essentially his backyard.
“I try and not say too much before the fight, which is something that I am used to,” said Indongo, 34. “I prefer to do it in the ring when my opponent is standing in front of me so I can do my work.
“I have been in boxing for a long time and not many people know me. I believe this is the time for me to show the world that a boxer from Africa, from Namibia, can beat a guy fighting in his home in front of his people. This is the best way to do it.”
This is the kind of attitude we should love from a boxer trying to accomplish a terrific feat in the ring. Even Crawford seems to respect that.
“It shows a lot about his character and his confidence and his ability in the ring,” said Crawford, 29. “Him being a two-time world champion in that short amount of time shows that he has a lot of confidence. But at the same time, he is a little older so he’s at the end of his career coming along, so he doesn’t have a lot of choices for what he wants to do. He can’t wait around.”
Indongo has only been a pro since 2009. He didn’t win his first belt until he knocked out Eduard Troyanovsky this past December. Indongo won his second title when he took a unanimous decision from Ricky Burns in Burns’ native Scotland this past April.
Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) admits he has seen little of Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs), but he speaks as if he knows this might not be a walk in the park.
“Indongo is a good fighter,” Crawford said. “He is a good boxer – he’s got good legs and he seems like he can punch. He doesn’t let his opponent get on the inside and do a lot of damage to him.”
Here’s the thing – Indongo may be “good,” but Crawford has proven to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and the chances are he is going to walk away with all four belts.
However, Indongo is pondering what it’s going to be like when he takes them home.
“It’s going to mean a lot to me – it will mean all of the hard work and determination got that achievement and it will create more opportunity for me,” he said. “I will travel the world with the four titles. I will take them back to Africa – to my country. I am going to be very, very happy.”
We doubt that, but this could be a competitive fight.
We are one week out from the Aug. 26 junior middleweight fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26 KOs) and UFC star Conor McGregor of Ireland at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view). The cost for the feed is $89.99, $99.99 for high definition. … On that same night, Miguel Cotto (40-0, 33 KOs) of Puerto Rico will take on Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) of Japan for a vacant junior middleweight title at StubHub Center (on HBO). … Directly underneath that bout, Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) of Santa Ana will challenge Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs) of Mexico for his junior featherweight title.
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