Bob Arum and his Top Rank Promotions are back on ESPN this Saturday (August 19, 2017), and the feature fight sees Terence Crawford (31-0) taking on Julius Indongo (22-0) in a title unification bout at 140 pounds.
Crawford (31-0) brings the WBC and WBO light welterweight world belts to the table while Indongo (22-0) is putting up his IBF and WBA world belts. Crawford is already in the Top 5 of most of the pound-for-pound lists out there, and he is the “A” side of this fight. Indongo inked a Cinderella story for himself, winning the IBF title with a first-round knockout of Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky in Russia. He added a second feel-good chapter when he went to England and wrested the WBO world belt from long-time world champion Ricky Burns, also on his opponent’s home turf. Now he walks into Crawford’s home state looking to unite all the major titles.
Indongo is taller and longer than Crawford, but Crawford has faced that in Viktor Postol, which was a major challenge that Crawford made look easy. Crawford has not shown any deficiencies in his game, but what he has displayed is a bit of a mean streak. With a win, Crawford would unite the belts at 140 pounds, leaving the path wide open for the big money fights available out there in the 147-pound welterweight division.
The co-feature sees undefeated NABF light heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0) defending his belt against Craig Baker (17-1). Gvozdyk is another Ukrainian with a vast amateur background whose professional career is being put on a fast track. Baker is a veteran who has been inactive, fighting just once in the last two years.
A pair of eight-round heavyweight bouts on the undercard are also getting attention at Several Bookmakers. Former world title contender Bryant Jennings (19-2) returns after a layoff of more than a year to try and work his way back into contention. He lost a world title bid against Wladimir Klitschko in April of 2015, and then he lost a December showdown with Cuba’s Lus Ortiz before the layoff, so he is looking to snap a two fight losing streak. Martz is tall, but he will have no other advantages over Jennings heading into this one.
The second heavyweight fight is notable because it sees England’s Dillian Whyte (20-1) making his debut in the United States. There to provide the opposition is Malcolm Tann (24-5), who is 1-1 since returninig in late 2016 after a layoff of more than eight years.
Top Rank has put together a solid undercard too that could see more fights pop up at Several Bookmakers as we get closer to fight day.
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, Nebraska
Super Lightweight – 12 rounds
Julius Indongo +1150 o9½ -130
Terence Crawford -1800 u9½ +110
Light Heavyweight – 10 rounds
Craig Baker +2000
Oleksandr Gvozdyk -4000
Heavyweight – 8 rounds
Malcolm Tann +2100
Dillian Whyte -4200
Heavyweight – 8 rounds
Daniel Martz +3500
Bryant Jennings -10000
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