by Tamas Pradarics
Saturday’s undisputed super lightweight world title fight between Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) and Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) is in the center of the boxing sphere’s attention. Fans, fighters, trainers, managers, and promoters are talking about the historic match-up where all four major championship belts are at stake. Among those who are looking forward to watching this bout is undefeated 140-pounder Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KOs).
The Russian boxer has been the mandatory challenger by the IBF since his eighth round demolition of Australian Leonardo Zappavigna that happened last December. Since then Sergey took step-aside money on two occasions to let Indongo first unify titles in Scotland against Ricky Burns and then sign in for Saturday’s super-fight against Crawford.
The US-based sanctioning body announced a couple of weeks ago winner of Crawford-Indongo has 90 days to defend his belt against the hard-hitting Lipinets.
On Tuesday, Keith Idec informed fans on BoxingScene.com that Terence Crawford was "noncommittal” regarding a potential mandatory defense against the Russian.
The same question was targeted towards the other participant of the big undisputed 140-pound super-fight that takes place at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
”For now our focus is Crawford as we do not want to look past him. The future will take care of itself including Lipinets and mandatory challengers of other organizations. All I can say is Julius will never avoid any opponent,” Nestor Tobias said on behalf of the Namibian WBA/IBF unified champion.
The Russian fighter and his team are confident no winner of the Crawford-Indongo fight will be open to facing his offensive minded mandatory. They could be right.
Saturday’s winner is going to be the only male undisputed champion in the sport in twelve years and the magnitude of such glory will open doors for much more important bouts than a mandatory defense against a largely unknown but dangerous opponent.
Crawford vs Indongo is promoted by Top Rank and televised live by ESPN on Saturday evening (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.