Terence Crawford says he feels ‘no pressure’ to be boxing’s next superstar

Terence Crawford/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

Boxing always seems to be looking for its next star. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has retired. Manny Pacquiao did, too, for a moment. But he’s coming back for a fight in the fall. Still, he’s about done, as well.

Terence Crawford, a junior welterweight champion from Omaha, Neb., would seem to have a shot at taking the aforementioned throne. The expectation is no burden to him, either, or so he says.

There is no pressure on me being looked at as boxing’s next superstar, but there is a lot of hard work in becoming one,” said Crawford, who Saturday will take on Viktor Postol of the Ukraine in a title-unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). “I’m really excited to be on the big stage and I’m on that big stage because I paid my dues in the gym and in the ring. That’s the reason I have accomplished so much as a fighter — pride of performance — and that’s why I am going to win on July 23.

“If I’m going to solidify my position as the new face of boxing, it starts by unifying the 140 pound division.”

Crawford, 28, is 28-0 with 20 knockouts. Postol, 32, is 28-0 with 12 knockouts.

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‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Liam Smith talk good game at Monday’s news conference

Saul Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith pose at Monday’s news conference in Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions


A lot of people around the world of boxing had to have been upset upon hearing that Golden Boy Promotions would not entertain the thought of its Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fighting middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin until September 2017. You can bet Liam Smith wasn’t one of them.

Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) is a junior middleweight champion from England. Thanks to Golden Boy balking at Golovkin, Smith will now be able to put his name on the worldwide map by defending his title against Alvarez on Sept. 17 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

“I am very excited,” Smith said at Monday’s news conference in Arlington. “I have asked for a top name for a very long time and when Canelo’s name came to the table, it was an automatic ‘Yes.’ We are coming very prepared for this fight, and I’m coming to win.”

After his sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan on May 7 in Las Vegas, Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) talked a lot of trash, challenging Golovkin and saying he would have no problem fighting him at the full 160-pound limit, something Alvarez had previously said he wasn’t interesting in doing.

But with an imposed deadline by the WBC to make the fight with Golovkin, Alvarez and Golden Boy put out a statement saying Alvarez would relinquish his middleweight title rather than adhere to the deadline.

Then came the news from Golden Boy that it would not even think about Alvarez fighting Golovkin until September of 2017. Alvarez took plenty of hits in social media.

To be fair, this whole thing is probably more on Golden Boy than Alvarez. But he’s going to have to take a lot of the heat.

Anyway, he promised fans a good fight against Smith.

“I had to work for my birthday, so I’m here to work,” said Alvarez, who turned 26 on Monday. “I’m very happy to be back in Texas again, in this beautiful stadium. I’m going to take this fight seriously and prepare like always. I know how I’m going to have to train. I like to give the fans a great fight, and that is what I will prepare for.”


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Viktor Postol is playing psychological games with Terence Crawford

Viktor Postol/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


Viktor Postol is coming off a 10th-round knockout of hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse this past October at StubHub Center. Postol is now just eight days from a junior welterweight title-unification bout against Terence Crawford on July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

It sounds like Postol is trying to get into Crawford’s head by suggesting that Matthysse is a better fighter than Crawford, who has won titles in two weight classes and possesses a record of 28-0 with 20 knockouts.

It is my subjective opinion, but it is my opinion from what I have seen and from the opposition that Matthysse has had before he fought me and the opposition that Crawford has had,” Postol said this week during a conference call. “I think that Matthysse is a better fighter and more experienced fighter.”

Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) won his title with the win over Matthysse.


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Terence Crawford is where he is because he stays true to the business

Terence Crawford is shown here after stopping Dierry Jean in the 10th round this past October in Crawford’s native Omaha, Neb. It was Crawford’s first defense of his junior welterweight title/Associated Press photo by LM Otero


Junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford on Tuesday from training camp was asked if Viktor Postol is going to be the toughest test of his career when they square off in a title-unification bout July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). Crawford’s response said a lot about the way he goes about his business.

“On paper you could make a case that Postol will be the toughest man I have faced inside the ring, but I won’t really know that until I fight him on July 23,” Crawford said. “When I go into camp, I always assume the opponent I’m training for will be my toughest test.  It’s the only way I know how to train. I respect any fighter who laces up the gloves and enters the ring to battle with me. I take no opponent for granted and I take nothing in training camp for granted. We are by the book in camp. We skip nothing in gym training or conditioning.”

Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) intimated he can’t achieve his goals by half-stepping. That’s why he’s fighting Postol.

“Against Postol, I’m not just defending my belt, I’m out to take his, too,” said Crawford, 28. “That’s the reason for taking such a tough fight. It is because I wanted to fight the best fighter out there, to beat the best fighter out there, to show that I am the best fighter in the division.”

Postol, of the Ukraine, is 32. He is 28-0 with 12 knockouts.


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VIDEO: HBO takes a look at world champion Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


Terence Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) and Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) will square off in a junior welterweight title-unification bout July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). As a prelude to the bout, HBO has produced “Terence Crawford: My Fight.” It’s an in-depth look at one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters.

Check it out here.

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SPOILER ALERT: Check out results of Kovalev-Chilemba title fight in Russia

Sergey Kovalev/Photo courtesy of Main Events Inc.



Sergey Kovalev on Monday retained his three light heavyweight belts when he pounded out a 12-round, unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba in Kovalev’s native Russia.

Kovalev won by scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109.

Kovalev decked Chilemba (24-4-2), of South Africa via Malawi,  in the seventh round. But Chilemba was able to take Kovalev the distance for just the fourth time in Kovalev’s career.

Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) is slated to next defend against former super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena. Ward must first get past Alexander Brand on Aug. 6 at Oracle Arena in Ward’s native Oakland.

Kovalev-Chilemba will be televised by HBO later Monday night.


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Sergey Kovalev, Isaac Chilemba saying good things about obvious mismatch

Sergey Kovalev/Photo courtesy of Main Events Inc.


Fighters know they have to help promote their fights, so you’ll rarely hear any of them say they are about to take on an overmatched fighter because they know the viewership could suffer.

It therefore wasn’t surprising to hear what Sergey Kovalev said at Friday’s final news conference for his light heavyweight title defense against Isaac Chilemba on Monday in Kovalev’s native Russia (on HBO).

“The hardest time of my training camp is past now and I am going to give you good show,” Kovalev said. “My opponent, Chilemba, is very motivated and that is why he is so dangerous.”

Well, Kovalev is 29-0-1 with 26 knockouts and is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. That’s dangerous. Chilemba is 24-3-2 with just 10 knockouts and he’s coming off a majority-decision loss to contender Eleider Alvarez in November.

Anyway, Chilemba, of South Africa via Malawi, is also talking a good game.

“… This is my time, this is my destiny,” he said. “I believe I was destined to be WBO, WBA and IBF World Champion”

Those are the three belts Kovalev holds and will continue to hold after he knocks out Chilemba. Kovalev is then slated to take on Andre Ward on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward will take on Alexander Brand of Colombia in is own tune-up fight Aug. 6 at Oracle Arena in Ward’s native Oakland (on HBO).


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Thomas Karpency, Oleksandr Gvozdyk to tangle underneath Crawford-Postol

Thomas Karpency/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com


When the super middleweight title fight between champion Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico and Dominik Britsch of Germany slated for July 23 fell out because of a hand injury sustained by Ramirez this week, that left promoter Bob Arum looking for another fight to fill out the HBO pay-per-view event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas that will be headlined by the junior welterweight title-unification bout between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol.

That spot has been filled with a 10-round bout between light heavyweights Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Thomas Karpency. It will be one of four bouts on the pay-per-view feed.

Karpency, of Adah, Pa., is 26-5-1 with 15 knockouts. Gvozdyk, of the Ukraine, is 10-0 with eight knockouts.

Ramirez-Britsch was to be the semi-main event on this card. That now will be Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) of Mexico taking on Matias Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs) of Argentina for a vacant featherweight title.

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Gennady Golovkin figures to take heat for fighting welterweight Kell Brook

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions


Considering Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took so much heat for defending his middleweight title against a welterweight – Amir Khan – in May, it was surprising to hear Friday morning that middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will now do the same.

Golovkin will defend his three belts against Kell Brook, who holds one of the welterweight titles, on Sept. 10 at O2 Arena in Brook’s native England (on HBO).

Golvokin is trained by West Covina native Abel Sanchez. He was asked via telephone why Golovkin will be fighting a welterweight.

“Well, if you recall, the first welterweight in our time that did that was Ray Leonard and he beat the middleweight (Marvin Hagler), so he (Brook) is willing to do what others are not,” Sanchez said. “He’s undefeated, he’s been doing great lately, he’s having a hard time getting fights, also; people don’t want to face him. So it will be the best welterweight in the world against the best middleweight in the world.”

Some consider Keith “One Time” Thurman the best welterweight champion among the four, but OK.

Anyway, it was believed that middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. would be Golovkin’s next opponent. Eubank had been doing a lot of talking about how he wanted Golovkin. But the deal did not come to fruition. According to Sanchez, Eubank did what many others have done in the past when it comes to a possible fight with the heavy-hitting Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs).

“We go back to all these guys who say they want to fight Golovkin, but when it comes down to it, for some reason it’s not as important to them when it comes down to signing the contract,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez believes that at the end of the day, the Eubank team didn’t really want to tangle with Golovkin. Keep in mind Eubank and Brook are both promoted by Eddie Hearn.

“For Chris, I think that the father, or the Eubank team, just made it so impossible for Eddie that it was a way of saying, ‘We don’t want the fight,’ ” Sanchez said. “Maybe that fight will be in the future. But Kell was offered the same world-class deal that Eubank was being offered, identical, so now Kell Brook takes it and Eubank doesn’t. I dont get that. It was good enough for Kell, but not good enough for Chris.”

Eubank’s father is former middleweight/super middleweight champion Chris Eubank.

Golovkin, commenting in a statement, seems to like this fight.

“I’m very excited to be fighting in front of the great British boxing fans and promise another ‘Big Drama Show’ against undefeated Kell Brook,” he said. “I give him much respect for taking this fight.”

That’s the key here, is that Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) took the fight.

“We have a great deal of respect for Kell Brook for stepping up and facing Gennady when so many have been reluctant to do so,” said Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “We’ve tried to come to the UK before for fights with Carl Froch, Billy Jo Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr., but Kell Brook is the first to accept the challenge.”

Brook put a good spin on a fight that is likely to face scrutiny similar to that Alvarez experienced for taking on the smaller Khan, who was viciously knocked out in the sixth round.

“When this fight got offered to me, I accepted within minutes and I can’t wait,” Brook said. “Everyone knows I’m a huge welterweight and I know I will carry my speed and accuracy and even more power through the weights. … You have seen some huge names run from (Golovkin), but I’m running to him.”


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VIDEO: Check out mean work by light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev

 (Associated Press)

Sergey Kovalev will next defend against Isaac Chilemba on July 11 in Russia/Associated Press file photo


Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and, along with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, one of the scariest.

Kovalev on July 11 in Russia will defend his three titles when he takes on Isaac Chilemba of South Africa (on HBO). Kovalev, who is tentatively slated to then defend against former super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas, is 29-0-1 with 26 knockouts.

Check out some of his work on this video courtesy of HBO.

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