By Keith Idec
Julius Indongo has every reason to feel confident about boxing Terence Crawford next month in Crawford’s home state of Nebraska.
The unbeaten Namibian southpaw is a decided underdog against Crawford, but he has convincingly won each of his past two world title fights in the respective homelands of his opponents.
Indongo needed just one punch and 40 seconds to knock out Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky (26-1, 23 KOs) in the first round to win the IBF and IBO 140-pound championships December 3 in Moscow. Four months later, Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) added the WBA title to his resume when he traveled to Glasgow and handled Scotland’s Ricky Burns (41-6-1, 14 KOs) with ease on his way to winning a unanimous decision in their partial unification fight April 15.
“I’m under no pressure at all,” Indongo told skysports.com for a story posted Wednesday. “I’m going to Nebraska, USA, to wrestle those titles away from Crawford and it does not bother me that I’m going into his own backyard.
“As a team, we have a strategy and perfect game plan for Crawford, so I’m really not concerned with what my opponent has in store for me or the pressure of fighting in the States.”
Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), the WBC/WBO super lightweight champion, will box Indongo on August 19 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lincoln, Nebraska’s capital city, is about a one-hour drive from Crawford’s hometown of Omaha.
ESPN will televise their scheduled 12-round, full unification fight as part of the cable giant’s new partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which promotes Crawford. The 34-year-old Indongo, whose first 20 fights took place in his native Namibia, will compete in the United States for the first time.
“Fighting at this level is not only about me,” Indongo said, “but it’s about my country and Africa at large. So I have to beat Crawford for Africa and my country. Not many African boxers get this opportunity, and that’s why I have to inspire my fellow African boxers.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.