Terence Crawford Faces Julius Indongo On His Next Step To Superstardom

    On Saturday, August 19th, Terence Crawford faces his next challenge in Lincoln, Nebraska and ultimately the last step in an already decorated career. After demolishing the lightweight division against everyone not named Mikey Garcia, he looks to obliterate the light welterweight division with a win over Julius Indongo. 

    WATCH- The Shadow League’s Exclusive With Terence Crawford

    Terence Crawford

    Relatively unknown to the American audience, Indongo is the current WBA (unified) and IBF light-welterweight champion. The undefeated Namibian has never fought on American soil. He recently defeated Ricky Burns in Scotland and has five of his eleven knockouts in the first round.

    Fight Night: Crawford vs Molina

    Fight Night: Crawford vs Molina

    Omaha was ! In case you missed out on the action, here’s a glimpse of what went down Saturday night. Want more? Get your boxing fix on newly designed www.toprank.com

    Omaha was ! In case you missed out on the action, here’s a glimpse of what went down Saturday night. Want more? Get your boxing fix on newly designed www.toprank.com

    Still, the popular consensus is that Crawford will run through Indongo as he has all his opponents and become the undisputed world champion of the weight class. At 29 years old and already a champion in two weight classes, Crawford seems the athletic air apparent to the Mayweather era, minus the braggadocio. However, even now being featured on ESPN, is it enough to become a superstar?

    When Bob Arum and Floyd Mayweather cantankerously parted ways to the tune of $750,000, it began a new way of thinking in boxing. The fighter as the promoter, controlling his own image, the way he promotes his fights and ultimately the stable coming up behind him. 

    With a shrewd team consisting of entertainment svengali Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather was set up to be the highest earner in sports in a career that spanned 21 years. 

    On August 26th, that chapter in boxing will be over, but dominant champions like Crawford are the future of the sport. The welterweight division is boxing’s honeypot and all signs are pointing to Crawford looking to move up and possibly become a three-division world champion. However, his promoter Bob Arum has a strained relationship with Al Haymon, who also controls the majority of the chess board in boxing.

    Terence Crawford Knock Outs 2016

    Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford Knock Outs 2016 Compilation I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

    If Crawford is successful, his chances of fighting the upper echelon of the fight game will be a hurdle, but nothing is impossible. After all, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao proved that even the staunchest of enemies can work together for a common purpose: money. 

    To prove that Top Rank cards can compete with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, tomorrow’s fights are chock full of high-level sweet scientists.

    Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings looks to get back in the win column against Daniel Martz and Denver’s former super lightweight champion, Mikey Alvarado, seeks to get back to title contention against Sidney Siqueira. Rounding out the event, Nicholas Walters faces Arturo Reyes, making it a respectable event for boxing purists. 

    ESPN is a perfect platform for exposure for all these fighters, but with fans receiving the fights they want more and more, Top Rank must prepare to set Crawford up to the next level and deeper weight classes. 

    If not, Crawford should consider going the Mayweather buyout route and developing a personality that will fill seats and build a bigger career.        

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.