By Tom Gray
Soon, only one fighter will be able to call himself a world champion at junior welterweight.
Terence Crawford, THE RING, WBC and WBO champion, faces IBF and WBA unified titleholder Julius Indongo in a battle of unbeaten 140-pounders at Pinnacle Bank in Lincoln, Nebraska, on August 19.
Crawford (31-0, 22 knockouts) is coming off a convincing 10th-round stoppage of Felix Diaz in May and has always shown real interest in unifying this division. There are many who believe that this will be the gifted American’s final assignment at 140 pounds before he heads north to welterweight.
Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) won back-to-back world titles by dethroning Eduard Troyanovsky (IBF) in just 40 seconds before comfortably outpointing Ricky Burns (WBA) in April. The previously unknown Namibian ventured to Russia and Scotland respectively for those defining victories. He is rated No. 2 by THE RING at junior welterweight.
Crawford-Indongo will be the third main event to take place under Top Rank’s new partnership with ESPN. This weekend, WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao defends against Jeff Horn in Australia and yesterday it was announced that WBO 130-pound titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko will defend his belt against Miguel Marriaga on August 5.
“Pound for pound, no one can match the talent of Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford,” said Top Rank president Todd duBoef in an interview with ESPN.com. “They drew the best ratings on premium cable this year (HBO), and now everyone will be able to see them when they defend their world titles in all-action fights.”
The Crawford-Indongo bout will be the fourth four-way unification bout in boxing history, and the first one not to involve Bernard Hopkins. At middleweight, Hopkins faced Oscar De La Hoya, Howard Eastman and Jermain Taylor with all four recognized world titles and THE RING Magazine championship at stake.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing