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Three Punch Combo: The Return Of Viktor Postol and More

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  • Three Punch Combo: The Return Of Viktor Postol and More

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    By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- This is beginning to sound like a broken record but we have another loaded week ahead of us on the boxing calendar. And as usual when this occurs, some fights fall under the radar, as is the case with the return of former 140-pound champion Viktor Postol (30-2, 12 KO’s) who takes on Mohamed Mimoune (21-2, 2 KO’s) on Saturday. Showtime will televise the key crossroads showdown from Las Vegas.

    Postol has sort of gotten lost in the shuffle the last few years. He’s only fought four times since winning a title belt in October of 2015 in an impressive performance against Lucas Matthysse and he lost two of those bouts. Whatever momentum he built in his career from the Matthysse victory went by the wayside.

    But we need to keep in mind those two losses were to world class fighters. In July of 2016, he lost his 140-pound title by decision to Terence Crawford who, of course, is considered by many to be boxing’s top pound for pound fighter today. Two years later, Postol would drop another 12-round decision to rising star Josh Taylor. Postol was not blown out in either of these fights and his status in the 140-pound division should have remained relatively intact.

    After a bounce-back win in November against Siar Ozgul, Postol is poised to make another run in what is a stacked 140-pound division. But in order to do so, he must first get by Mimoune who is currently ranked #3 by the WBC in the 140-pound division and is on 10-fight winning streak. This streak includes a win over Sam Eggington which at the time was considered a big upset. But given how Eggington has looked since that match in October of 2017, that win does not hold the merit it once did and Mimoune needs to re-establish his position in the division to garner a title shot.

    Stylistically, Postol-Mimoune should be a high stakes chess match. Postol will look to control range from the outside behind his jab. He will also look to land his precision right uppercut as Mimoune presses forward.

    Mimoune, a southpaw, is very slick and not easy to hit clean. We have all heard the saying in boxing “stick and move” and that is precisely what Mimoune will look to do all night against Postol. Mimoune will pick his spots to jump in on Postol and fire off combinations. And then, just as quickly, look to jump out of range before Postol can counter.

    On paper, this is the most competitive fight of the upcoming weekend with oddsmakers having made it a “pick’em” contest at the time of this writing. It’s certainly not going to be a slugfest but should be a high level competitive fight between two very good and evenly matched professional fighters.

    More Streaming News and Thoughts

    Just when it appeared the streaming market was tapped out for boxing another new service has come along. This week, Warfare Sports put out a press release announcing itself as boxing’s newest digital platform planning 24 live events over the next year along with shoulder programming.

    It appears Warfare Sports will be working with U.S.-based promoters such as Star Boxing and King’s Promotions. They plan to go live in May and, at least according to the initial press release, the service will be free.

    As I have touched upon before, we are in a new era in how we watch boxing and the amount of live content available is unlike anything we have ever seen before in this sport. But in order for all these streaming services to connect with fans and attract enough eyeballs, some must find a way to differentiate themselves from the pack, even if free.

    As a die-hard fan, I am finding myself these days having to pick and choose what I can even watch. In the past, I could catch all available fights during any week (sometimes even re-watch them) but today, with most cards being jammed in on the weekends, I simply do not have the time to watch all that is available.

    Is this a problem for the sport long term? Maybe or maybe not; time will tell. I am not going to harp on networks/streaming organizations coordinating events anymore as that simply does not seem realistic. However, I will make a suggestion, and that is for one of these streaming services to develop a consistent weekday series like we used to have with USA’s Tuesday Night Fight series.

    This makes sense in so many ways. These streaming services need eyeballs and a weekday stand-alone series taking place when no other events are occurring is a good way to get viewership. Plus, back in its heyday the USA Tuesday Night Fight series provided a needed lifeline for the sport. Local promoters were kept active and their shows, as well as the fighters that appeared on them, received much needed publicity.

    Fans responded well to the series because they knew when to tune in each week. There wasn’t a card on a random Thursday, followed by one on a Sunday, etc. This was a recipe for long-term success and something today’s streaming services need to take note of.

    As a diehard fan, I watch as much boxing regardless of cost as I can in a given week but even I have had to draw the line. But there is still a desperate need for a consistent weekday series like we once had with USA’s Tuesday Night Fights. Maybe it will be this newest platform in Warfare Sports that capitalizes on this opportunity.

    Who Could Be Next For Crawford? An Under The Radar Option

    The big question in the aftermath of Terence Crawford’s TKO victory against Amir Khan this past Saturday is what will be next for Crawford? Given boxing’s current political climate, the answer is not so easy.

    The fight that all fans want to see next for Crawford is against fellow welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. While there is no doubt in my mind that both Crawford and Spence badly want this fight, negotiations will likely be very delicate as well as lengthy. As such, I don’t think we see it until 2020.

    Spence and most of the other top welterweights in the world are housed under the PBC banner. While making a fight for Crawford with, say a Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter, is not impossible, it also does not seem probable at the moment. PBC just does not seem interested in feeding one of their top fighters to Crawford unless the money is too big to turn down and it’s doubtful that Top Rank would be willing to make such a large financial commitment as they could be looking at a massive loss.

    Looking at the other available options, the pickings are pretty slim. But there is a fighter with a recognizable name who is ranked highly by the WBO, the organization for whom Crawford holds his title, and that is Jessie Vargas.

    Yes, political boundaries still have to be crossed. But Top Rank seems much more likely to work with Eddie Hearn, whose DAZN banner Vargas currently fights under, than PBC. Plus, Vargas would not come with nearly the financial demands of those other big name welterweights fighting under the PBC banner.

    Vargas fights this coming Friday against Humberto Soto. With an impressive showing, Vargas will probably move to the front of the line to be the next opponent for Terence Crawford.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    I agree Matt.

    The scheduling and platforming of modern live boxing is making it impossible (if not downright undesirable) to catch it all before I've heard enough about the various results that I don't care to go back and catch it for myself. If I'm not directly covering or directly involved, there is a better chance than ever before I will miss it.


    • #3
      Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
      I agree Matt.

      The scheduling and platforming of modern live boxing is making it impossible (if not downright undesirable) to catch it all before I've heard enough about the various results that I don't care to go back and catch it for myself. If I'm not directly covering or directly involved, there is a better chance than ever before I will miss it.
      Thanks KO. Yeah as a I die hard fan, I never thought I'd see the day when there would just be so much content that I'd have to pick and choose what I could actually catch each week. I do understand that overlapping cards probably can't be avoided right now but would really like to see one of these platforms develop a weekly weekday series that wouldn't be in direct competition with all the weekend content.

      Speaking of weekday shows, there is actually a really good one on Thursday that Golden Boy is streaming on Facebook Watch headlined by the rematch between Steve Claggett and Yves Ulysse Jr. Glad to see this during the week so I can definitely catch it and I think it will draw a lot of interest from the boxing community.


      • #4
        Postol-Mimoune should be a really good professional fight. I lean toward Postol here but Mimoune is going to be competitive. Not a fire fight but just a solid fight between two skilled fighters. The winner is right in the mix for something bigger at 140.

        Vargas is a real possibility for Crawford. First, he must look good against Soto. But Crawford's lack of options and the fact that the Spence fight is probably not in the near term put Vargas high on top the list to face Crawford in the fall.


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Vargas becomes a victim......