Terence Crawford (-1000) vs Julius Indongo (+550), Draw (+2500)
It’s not official yet, but it looks like it’ll be finalized any moment now: Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) will face Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) on August 19th at the Pinnacle Bank Arena for a shot to unify the entire junior welterweight division.
Indongo isn’t a big draw, and this definitely isn’t a decision motivated by money. Crawford had his eyes on some big-money opponents, like Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., or even Manny Pacquiao. But instead he’s opted for the IBO and IBF junior welterweight champ in order to put a bow on the division.
Crawford is undefeated over 31 professional fights and has established himself as one of the guys to take over when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally leave the sport for good.
Whether intentionally or not, he’s played it pretty safe so far. John Molina Jr. was a decent opponent and Ricky Burns is a former champion, but neither had the power or technique to put Crawford at any real risk. Indongo has shown himself to be a formidable opponent, but he’s still not on Crawford’s level.
Before he flew to Moscow last December and knocked out IBF and IBO champ Eduard Troyanovsky in 40 seconds, very few people had heard of Julius Indongo. It was his first professional fight outside of Namibia, and his first shot at a significant title.
He went on to dominate Ricky Burns in Glasgow, knocking him down three times and stripping him of his WBA title. He’s earned his place at the top of the junior welterweight division, but Crawford is a far tougher opponent than Troyanovsky or Burns.
Crawford is undoubtedly one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today. He hits with speed and power, and is renowned for his technical talent. His ability to seamlessly switch hit from orthodox to southpaw makes him one of the most versatile boxers around.
There’s a lot more to come from Julius Indongo. He’s undefeated and went from fighting unknown African boxers to defeating two champions. However, the junior welterweight division is relatively weak at the moment due to the overwhelming appeal of welterweight. Crawford has stuck around for now, but he’ll be moving up very shortly.
There’s almost no value in picking Crawford, but I’m not willing to risk betting against him on this one.
Pick: Terence Crawford (-1000)
Photo credit: Ryūji Ikeda (flickr) [http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/2.0]