LOS ANGELES: There will be plenty at stake, including a potential date with Manny Pacquiao, when Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol duke it out for junior welterweight division supremacy on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
And throw in the bragging rights that comes with winning the two 140-pound world titles that are up for grabs.
Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) and Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) meet in a 12-round unification fight Saturday for the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council belts at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas.
Both are hoping that a victory will land them a shot at Pacquiao in the Filipino’s return to the ring, likely later this year in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, who also promoted Saturday’s contest, is looking at a November 5 date for Pacquiao.
The 28-year-old Crawford is favoured and will be making his third title defence while Postol will be making the first defence of his title.
This is the biggest fight of his career for Ukrainian Postol. He is part of a recent wave of eastern European fighters, such as Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko and Sergey Kovalev, who have been taking the sport of boxing by storm.
Postol recorded one of his most impressive victories in October when he upset big puncher Lucas Matthysse, winning by a 10th round knockout.
“I do not consider myself an underdog in this fight. Terence Crawford’s fans might consider me as the underdog but that does not bother me,” Postol said.
“I have the best trainer working with me and his name his Freddie Roach. He has been named trainer of the year a record seven times and he is in the Hall of Fame.”
The undercard features Oscar Valdez versus Matias Adrian Rueda in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO featherweight title.