Crawford-Molina: A sign of things to come?

Crawford-Molina: A sign of things to come?

By Hector Franco

October 30, 2016


Terence Crawford lands a left hand on Viktor Postol in their 140-pound unification fight. Photo: Will Hart/HBO

Terence Crawford lands a left hand on Viktor Postol in their 140-pound unification fight. Photo: Will Hart/HBO

It was announced on Friday that junior welterweight kingpin Terence Crawford (29-0, 29 KOs) would be making his return to the squared circle on Dec. 10. The WBC/WBO champion will be facing California native, John Molina (29-6, 23 KOs). Both men are coming off of some of the biggest victories of their careers. 

Crawford last July faced off against Viktor Postol in Las Vegas. Crawford dominated the fight from the beginning to the end to win a wide unanimous decision. The victory was arguably the biggest of Crawford’s career as he faced an undefeated opponent in a unification bout.  Molina last June faced Russian puncher Ruslan Provodnikov. In a surprising turn of events Molina out boxed Provodnikov to earn a clear decision victory. The thought before the fight is that it would be a war where the bigger puncher would come out on top. Needless to say, the outcome was not one that many expected. 

John Molina lands a left jab on Ruslan Provodnikov. Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

John Molina lands a left jab on Ruslan Provodnikov. Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

The fight is still not signed and delivered, but it has been agreed upon to take place at the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The date of Dec. 10 originally belonged to Canelo Alvarez. He was set to make his debut in New York, but was stalled after he suffered a hand injury in his fight with Liam Smith. Then the date was proposed for a Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs middleweight title fight. Negotiations caused the fight to be moved to the first quarter of 2017. Crawford being one of boxing's best fighters needed another fight to stay active. It's important to keep his name in the public eye. 

The most important aspect of the Crawford-Molina fight being made is the implications it has on the boxing landscape. It will mark the first time since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight that Top Rank has worked with an Al Haymon-managed fighter. With the fight also taking place on HBO it's possible that the network divide may be wavering. Bob Arum explained to ESPN that there are no issues in making fights with Al Haymon. 

“I have absolutely no problem making fights with Haymon now. I respect him as a very smart guy, and I would do business with my fighters on his cards and I have no problem offering his fighters opportunities to fight my fighters on my cards. That wasn’t true when we were in litigation, but the litigation is over now.” – Bob Arum

In boxing, seeing is believing. Time will be the judge if Arum is in fact, truthful in making more fights with Haymon and vice versa. Crawford-Molina isn’t a 50-50 fight.  But fights between Arum and Haymon fighters that are evenly matched could generate big business. A few weeks ago, in fact, Arum spoke with Yahoo Sports and boxingscene.com about the possibility of having his biggest star, Manny Pacquiao, fight some of Haymon’s welterweights. 

“We look at Haymon as a guy who manages a lot of good fighters and if any of them would fit as opponents for our guys, we’d be interested in talking…

A guy like Garcia would be an interesting opponent. Keith Thurman, he would be a possibility. As long as the guys don’t price themselves out, we’d be interested. Haymon and I worked hard to get Broner for this fight. We’re open to putting Manny in the fights the public wants to see and we’re not closing any doors.” –Bob Arum

Crawford-Molina could be the start of fights being made that in the past would not have been possible. For boxing fans, the hope is that this is just the beginning and not just a one-time occurrence. 


(Featured Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank)

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