While most of the sports world equates boxing with the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor mega event, big time fights are taking place inside the squared circle at an unprecedented rate. Take for instance tonight's 140-pound unification bout between Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo. For the true fight fan this is an amazing fight what has been an already amazing year.
The fight is being broadcast on ESPN, just like Vasyl Lomachenko's successful title defense against Miguel Marriaga was two weeks ago. It is a real treat for the casuals, and a chance for Crawford, one of boxing's brightest stars, to shine even brighter, and become a household name.
The 29-year old Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), who will once again fight in his birth state of Nebraska, is one of the most gifted boxers today. He can box, he can punch, and he's the only fighter since Marvin Hagler who can fight both from an orthodox, or southpaw stance with success. He is an absolute natural, and easily a top five pound-for-pound fighter. He comes into this bout with the WBC and WBO Jr. Welterweight belts, and hungry for two more.
In front of him is Julius Indongo, who holds the WBA and IBF titles. Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) is a relative unknown, but the 34-year old from Namibia, Africa is coming off an impressive win against Ricky Burns, and a highlight reel knockout of Eduard Troyanovsky.
This is an opportunity for Crawford to become a truly special fighter. In a period in boxing where titles are scattered, and sanctioning bodies are stripping fighters left and right, this is a rare opportunity where one champion will hold all title belts in a weight division. No one knows how long Crawford, or Indongo will hold that distinction, but tonight one of them will be part of boxing history.
A Crawford win opens up a slew of possible fights. He can stay in the division, or he could move up to welterweight where Top Rank could put him in against newly crowned champion Jeff Horn, or against Manny Pacquiao. Down the road, and hopefully not too far down the road, he can challenge Keith Thurman and Errol Spence. A fight versus Spence is one of the better fights you could make in boxing. I envision two-fights, and maybe even a trilogy between two of the best fighters in the game.
Casual fan, I urge you to watch tonight. I know you're counting down the days for Mayweather-McGregor, but for a few hours bask in the glory of a truly special bout. 2017 has given us some amazing fights, and tonight will not be the exception.