By Keith Idec
Freddie Roach has spent plenty of time breaking down Terence Crawford fight films and applying what he has learned to Viktor Postol’s preparation.
There isn’t anything the diverse, intelligent Crawford can do, according to Postol’s famed trainer, that’ll puzzle Postol when they meet Saturday night in a 140-pound championship unification fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena (HBO Pay-Per-View; $59.99 in HD; $54.95 in SD). Postol prepared against left-handed and right-handed sparring partners because Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs), the WBO world super lightweight champion, often switches between fighting from conventional and southpaw stances during fights.
“We had to get ready for lefty and righty, and we had the right sparring partners at the right time,” Roach said during a recent conference call. “We worked on [Crawford] fighting as a southpaw and him fighting as a righty. There’s nothing he’s gonna surprise us with.”
Roach added that he believes Ukraine’s Postol (28-0, 12 KOs), the WBC world super lightweight title-holder, has faced better competition than Omaha’s Crawford recently.
Postol knocked out favored Argentine knockout artist Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) in the 10th round of his last fight, October 3 in Carson, California. Two fights earlier, in the bout before Roach started training him, Postol knocked out Turkey’s Selcuk Aydin (29-3, 22 KOs) in the 11th round of a May 2014 fight in Inglewood, California.
The 32-year-old Postol out-pointed Jake Giuriceo (19-5-1, 5 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, by unanimous decision in his first fight with Roach in his corner, an eight-rounder in April 2015 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Postol’s perceived advantage in level of opposition, Roach says, makes him more than ready for a fighter of Crawford’s caliber.
“I’ve watched a lot of tape on him,” Roach said of Crawford. “He’s a good, young fighter. But I think we’re a lot better fighter because I think our last two wins have been against pretty good guys and so forth. And Crawford, I think he’s still being built up.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing