“Undisputed” - Boxing history flying under the radar
By Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña | Contributing Writer
Published: August 18, 2017
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - Only once in boxing’s four belt era have two champions met in the ring with all four major world titles in a weight class on the line. Saturday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, two undefeated super lightweight world champions will go to battle in only the second, four belt unification bout in boxing history.
The world championship bout between the WBC and WBO super lightweight champion, Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, and the IBF and WBA champion, Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs), from Windhoek, Namibia, will give fans the first undisputed boxing champion in over twelve years -- barring a draw or no contest. For Indongo, he will be traveling into hostile territory as he comes into Crawford’s home state of Nebraska for his first ever fight in the United States. This will also only be Indongo’s third fight outside of his native country of Namibia. Indongo, who is a former police officer, had never fought outside Namibia before his match against Eduard Troyanovsky last December.
After knocking out Troyanovsky for the IBF title, Indongo then traveled to Scotland for a chance to unify the titles against the WBA Champion Ricky Burns. Indongo took the fight to Burns from the opening bell and dismantled him over twelve rounds, winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Now, Indongo, the road warrior, will basically be in Crawford’s hometown Saturday night as he looks to make history.
Crawford, who is a two-division world champion, has won six of his last eight bouts by stoppage. In his last fight at Madison Square Garden, Crawford successfully defended his titles via a tenth round stoppage of former Olympic gold medalist and contender, Félix Diaz. Now, Saturday night Crawford will look to cement his name in the history books as the first super lightweight fighter to hold all four belt at the same time.
The Crawford-Indongo bout will be the third in a collaboration between Top Rank and ESPN. Sadly, however, much of the media has yet to give this fight the attention it deserves. The winner will be the undefeated and undisputed champion -- a rare title in the sport. Yet, an overpriced exhibition bout continues to pull the limelight away from this historical bout as it continues to fly under the radar. Fans that tune in will witness one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world put not only his titles, but his undefeated record on the line against an underdog who continues to defy the odds. Indongo is a tall, strong, dangerous southpaw fighter who looks to shock the world. Styles make fights and this should be a great one. Why wouldn’t this fight get the buzz of the boxing world? Your guess is as good as mine. This is the Best vs the Best.
(Feature photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)