All four fighters for Saturday’s two main fights at MGM Grand in Las Vegas made weight Friday.
Viktor Postol weighed 139 1/2 pounds and Terence Crawford came in at the 140-pound limit for their junior welterweight title-unification bout (on HBO pay-per-view).
Postol, of Ukraine, is 28-0 with 12 knockouts. Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., is 28-0 with 20 knockouts.
The semi-main event will feature a vacant featherweight world-title fight between Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) of Mexico and Matias Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs) of Argentina. Valdez weighed in at the 126-pound limit, Rueda came in a pound light at 125.
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.”
Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday played host to a media workout at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, where he is trained by Freddie Roach. A couple of hundred reporters and photographers were on hand, and that’s not including the 50 or so who were turned away because there wasn’t enough room for them.
During a question-and-answer period, Pacquiao was asked if it would be to his advantage if Floyd Mayweather Jr. opens up and tries to knock him out when they tangle May 2 in a welterweight title-unification fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO and Showtime pay-per-view). Pacquiao responded with a slight smile on his face.
“Well, if he does that, that’s good for me,” Pacquiao said. “I mean, I like that. That’s what I want and that’s definitely what the fans want, you know, action.”
Adrien Broner, left, and John Molina of Covina will tangle March 7 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas/Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press
John Molina of Covina has lost his past two fights, but they were to former interim world champion Lucas Matthysse and former world champion Humberto Soto and Molina gave both of them a hard time, so there is no shame there.
Molina decked Matthysse twice in their fight in April 2014 at StubHub Center before Matthysse knocked out Molina in an absolute thriller. It was so thrilling that Wednesday the Boxing Writers Association of America named it Fight of the Year for 2014.
Molina (27-5, 22 KOs) was defeated via unanimous decision by Soto, losing by three, three and five points on the scorecards this past September at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Molina’s competitiveness against those fighters as well as his courage and heavy punch are probably why he’s getting another big fight. That will be March 7 against another former champion – Adrien Broner – at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on NBC).
Molina on Wednesday played host to a media workout at Justin Fortune’s gym in Hollywood. As usual, he was confident.
“The Soto fight was a learning experience,” Molina said. “But going in as the underdog is about going in and doing your job. I’ve had a lot of success as an underdog. I just took the positives from my last fight and tried to make the best of it and now I’m here today with the golden ticket in my hand.
“To see where I’m at today after all I’ve gone through in my career, I’m in awe sometimes. But we’re just barely getting started.”
Golden Boy Promotions on Monday announced that former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan of England will take on former welterweight champion Luis Collazo of Brooklyn on May 3 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).
They will tangle on the undercard of the welterweight title-unification bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana.