Should Terence Crawford elect to fight Indongo while waiting for the Pacman? (Radio)Written by Joseph Herron
On Saturday, May 20, current WBC, WBO and Ring Super Lightweight champion Terence Crawford retained his coveted titles, dominating the former Olympian Felix Diaz and eventually stopping the 33 year old fight veteran in the tenth stanza of their scheduled twelve round contest.
Although Diaz looked impressive leading into the bout, the reigning 140 pound champion seemingly handled the Dominican born challenger with ease, neutralizing his strengths and effectively exploiting his weaknesses.
So what's next for the budding American superstar?
Although many ringside observers, as well as Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, would like to see him test his mettle opposite Philippines Senator Manny Pacquiao in somewhat of a "torch-passing" opportunity, the Top Rank CEO isn't sure the suggested super-fight could garner enough stateside interest or financial support to carry the high-dollar match-up within the somewhat staggering U.S. boxing PPV market.
As a result, fight fans and boxing scribes alike have mentioned a potential unification bout with unbeaten Namibian and current IBF/WBA Junior Welterweight champion Julius Indongo to potentially take place this summer.
The athletic, African born pugilist has been impressive in his two most recent outings, stopping former title holder Eddie Troyanovsky in one round, and decisively outpointing former three division world champion Ricky Burns in April. At 5'10 1/2", most agree Indongo would present a unique challenge to the Omaha, Nebraska native, and possibly provide the greatest amount of resistance within the 140 pound weight division.
Because the legendary Pacman is already scheduled to compete in the ring on July 2 with Jeff Horn of Australia, and more than likely won't return to the squared circle until November, would a pairing with Indongo be Crawford's best option, or is the dangerous IBF/WBA champ seemingly too much risk in the interim?
On last night's edition of FightSaga Radio, three-decade fight trainer James Gogue discussed the possible Super Lightweight unification contest.
"It wouldn't be easy," stated the experienced boxing coach on the latest episode of FightSaga Radio. "Indongo actually has the physical advantage over Crawford in this match-up. He's taller, rangier and is also a southpaw who can punch. If he hits Crawford, he could potentially hurt him with those long, stinging punches."
Because Indongo only possesses 11 KOs on his resume, many skeptics don't believe he has the power to hurt and potentially stop Crawford. Gogue explains why the talented African fighter's power is a bit deceptive, but extremely effective in the ring.
"Julius doesn't possess pound for pound, world class power, but if he catches anyone on the end of his long, rangy shots, he's going to get their attention, respect, and hurt them. Just ask Troyanovsky and Burns if Indongo's punches hurt."
"Burns' trainer Tony Sims told me that Indongo can hit. He admitted that he got his fighter's attention early and often in that fight, which consequently changed their entire fight plan. That factor changed the entire complexion of the bout. He said it turned Burns into a defensive minded and safety-first fighter, which resulted in him losing the title."
"So yeah, the current IBF and WBA champ would be a dangerous challenge for Terence Crawford."
Should Crawford attempt to further unify the 140 pound weight division, or should he choose to wait for a possible opportunity against future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao in November?
James Gogue believes a fight with Indongo should and will inevitably will happen in the interim.
"Top Rank wants to keep Crawford busy, and I think this would be a great match-up in Omaha, Nebraska, this summer," states the knowledgeable fight trainer. "Top Rank knows Crawford's options are limited at 140 pounds. No one wants to step in the ring with him right now."
"But Indongo is one of the few fighters who have expressed interest in fighting Terence. I think Top Rank should and will make the fight happen this year."
Would the move be wise for Team Crawford and Top Rank, Inc.?
Listen to James Gogue and Joseph Herron analyze what's next for Terence Crawford.
The audio player is embedded at the bottom of the page. You may also access it here.