A saying around my first newsroom was, “Puppies sell papers.” Perhaps, also, “Terence Crawford sells papers?”
The week has already brought us a hanfdful of noteworthy bouts, some more meaningful than others: Flyweight Kazuto Ioka beat Keyvin Lara and junior featherweight Jonathan Guzman beat Shingo Wake; heavyweight Joseph Parker took out Solomon Haumono.
But these are the main U.S. TV highlights for the week. And we start with a doozy.
- Terence Crawford vs Viktor Postol, Saturday, HBO Pay-Per-View, Las Vegas. It’s almost like the back half of 2016 might make the disastrous first half worth overlooking. There are plenty of fights to revive your love of boxing, if it’s been in hibernation, and Crawford-Postol is high among them. It will create a new junior welterweight champion, for starters. Next: It’s the stiffest test of Crawford’s career by far. He has “pound-for-pound king heir” potential and all-around excellence, but Postol is a full-sized 140 pounder who’s technically adept and has power when he decides to pull the trigger; Crawford, by contrast, was once wobbled by undersized lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa. Still, this writer tips Crawford to win. If there’s a bummer about the show, it’s that it’s on PPV, and the undercard isn’t one to write home about. The highlight, such as it is: Oscar Valdez goes up against the prototypical “unknown Argentinian with a gaudy knockout record who can either turn into a nightmare or reveal himself as an illusion.”
- Adam Lopez vs Roman Reynoso, Friday, Showtime, Mashantucket Conn. Set aside the main event for a second: Julius Jackson vs. Jerry Odom at super middleweight could steal the show, as both have power and both have been stopped. Adam Lopez will be making his fourth appearance on ShoBox, so maybe it’s time for him to graduate already?
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs Sam Soliman, Thursday, ESPN, Mashantucket Conn. Derevyanchenko is a talented, entertaining but very tiny middleweight. Soliman is old as hell who has lost his last two. Depite Derevyanchenko entering just his ninth bout, Soliman at this point probably can’t give Derevyanchenko any kind of test in the ring, other than testing his patience with his awkward tactics.