While in many divisions, boxing’s champions are ducking or delaying the big unification fights that fans all over the world want to see, world champions Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo have put pen to paper to meet in Nebraska, USA on 19th August.
Crawford, the 29-year-old Nebraska-native (31-0-0), will be bringing the WBC and WBO world super lightweight belts to his home state for the big unification bout. Indongo, the 34-year-old Namibian (22-0-0), will be bringing the IBF and WBA world titles following his last unification bout just three months ago.
Not only hasn’t there been an undisputed super lightweight champion of the world since November 2001, but there hasn’t been such a title holder since the fourth belt, the WBO strap, was legitimised as a major belt. Kostya Tszyu defeated Zab Judah – which included some very heated aftermath – to unify his WBA and WBC belt to the American’s IBF.
The Russian was stripped due to inactivity transpiring from injuries after two defences, reigning over the division from November 2001 to January 2003. Now, either Julius Indongo or Terence Crawford will become the first four-belt undisputed super lightweight champion of the world – unless a draw is ruled – but who will come out on top of this real super-fight?
Indongo Ready to Sneak a Surprise Win
The last time he entered the ring, Julius Indongo placed his newly earned IBF world title on the line against one of the most respected fighters in the division, Ricky Burns. The Scot obliged with his WBA world belt and entered the ring as the favourite for many. The Namibian impressed with his awkward style, winning convincingly on two cards and the third to a lesser extent, to claim both major titles.
Terence Crawford has been a major name in the super lightweight division for the last few years, completing his fifth consecutive WBO world and third WBC world title defences against Felix Diaz in May of this year. Using his crisp, lightning combinations to cause early damage to Diaz’s eye, his composed attack forced the opposition’s corner to throw in the towel.
With this bout being only Indongo’s third outside of his home country, as well as Crawford’s superior wins count and him being five years younger, Indongo is the 6/1 underdog in the boxing betting. However, Indongo has overcome the odds before, quickly rising to prominence in the division, and employs an incredibly tricky southpaw style that has stifled many of his foes.
Despite the upcoming fight in Nebraska being the biggest in the division for well over a decade, the Namibian is keeping a very cool head, which may see him leave the USA with all four major belts:
“As a team, we have a strategy and perfect game plan for Crawford, so I’m really not concerned with what my opponent has in store for me or the pressure of fighting in the States.”
On 19th August, Crawford and Indongo will go toe-to-toe, with the ‘Blue Machine’ boasting two-and-a-half inches in height and one-and-a-half inches in reach on the champion fighting in his home state. The bookies don’t favour Namibia’s southpaw star, but he could very well cause another upset – his tricky style gives him the capacity to overcome the best that the division can offer – if Crawford unexpectedly struggles to handle him.