Unification: Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo meet on Saturday
This Saturday night, someone’s “0” is gonna go.
After Saturday night’s 140-pound championship unification bout in Lincoln, Nebraska, only one fighter will boast the title of undisputed champion in the junior welterweight division.
Terence “Bud” Crawford will risk his WBC, WBO and THE RING Magazine world titles against undefeated IBF, IBO and WBA world champion Julius Indongo in a battle of undefeated 140-pound champions.
The two will meet this coming Saturday, August 19, at Pinnacle Bank Arena (live on ESPN, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), just a short hop down the road from Bud’s home base of Omaha, Nebraska.
Crawford brings a perfect record of 31-0 (22) into the ring and is a two-division world champion. His first outing this year was on May 20 at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, where he successfully defended his titles via a 10-round stoppage of former Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz.
Considered one of the best fighters in the world, Bud is looking to unify all the titles at 140 pounds and will have a raucous, hometown crowd rooting him on. Crawford, a world champion since the spring of 2014, with nine successful world championship victories in two divisions under his belt, has garnered a devoted and loyal following as a one-man sports franchise in the “Cornhusker State.”
Crawford entered the championship circle as a road warrior back in 2014, when he traveled to Scotland to upset champion Ricky Burns to capture his first world title. And, while he will certainly have the home court advantage on Saturday, he will be facing a fighter who is equally comfortable clocking into work away from home.
The undefeated Indongo, 22-0 (11), from Windhoek, Namibia, has become a unified world champion in true road warrior fashion. Indongo fought his first 20 bouts in Namibia but when he hit the highway for his next two bouts, fighting away from home clearly wasn’t an issue.
He snapped up the IBF junior welterweight title on December 3, 2016, knocking out champion Eduard Troyanovsky in his own backyard of Moscow, Russia. Then, on April 15, he unified the titles by handling defending WBA world champion (and former Crawford foe) Ricky Burns in a convincing, 12-round unanimous decision. So, while facing one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world is a daunting task for Indongo, the setting shouldn’t pose any problems for the unbeaten southpaw.
In pre-fight interviews, Indongo made it clear that he knows he is in for a tough fight but is excited to come to the United States and show what he can do. And, while Indongo is facing a tough champion in his backyard, he also feels he has the support of his homeland.
“I’m under no pressure at all,” Indongo said. “I’m going to Nebraska, U.S.A., 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.
“Fighting at this level is not only about me but it’s about my country and Africa at large,” continued Indongo, “so I have to beat Crawford for Africa and for my country. Not many African boxers get this opportunity and that’s why I have to inspire my fellow African boxers.”