How Terence Crawford Stole Postol's Jab

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by NinjaMikeMoore, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2016/7/25/12277638/how-terence-crawford-stole-postols-jab

    If you aren’t that into boxing, you might have missed it. The mainstream hype was minimal. I couldn’t find a place in town that was showing it. Terence Crawford. Maybe you’ve heard the name? Then again, maybe you haven’t. If you just so happened to tune in Saturday night to watch him unify the WBO and WBC junior welterweight titles, odds are that you will remember it from now on.

    Shortly after a UFC event on Fox that saw Valentina Shevchenko upset Holly Holm in an absolute chess match between two of the most heralded strikers in mixed martial arts today, the early stages of an HBO Boxing pay-per-view began. The main event? A contest between the two universally regarded best junior welterweights on the planet: undefeated WBO champion Terence Crawford vs undefeated WBC champion Viktor Postol.

    The hype was minimal – but the buzz among hardcore boxing enthusiasts was palpable. These were two special talents coming together at a special time in each of their respective careers.

    Most expected a closely contested bout. It was not.

    Depending on your perspective, Crawford’s near shutout of Postol was either the most masterfully executed performance of the year or the most boring "fight" you’ll ever see. There doesn’t appear to be much middle ground. In this article I’m going to be exploring why I fall into the former category as opposed to the latter and, more importantly, we’re going to discuss how it is exactly that Crawford was able to take such an extremely talented boxer like Postol and make him look so ordinary.

    A Tale of Two Counter Punchers

    If you’ve seen Postol fight in the past then you know that he is a fairly tall, rangy fighter for the weight class and that his style matches accordingly. He has somewhat of a reputation as a counter puncher, though he often utilizes his impressive footwork to outmaneuver opponents while stinging them with his piston-like jab. An incredibly jab-centric boxer, his entire game is based around the consistency and effectiveness of said jab. He often uses it to touch opponents, pawing at them to measure the distance before hammering home a more powerful follow-up jab or straight right. Cautious jabs and 1-2’s slowly develop into combinations as the rounds progress. What started as pitter patter quickly becomes much, much more. But it all starts with the jab.

    Crawford on the other hand is a bit of a problem solver. A true counter fighter speckled with shades of the occasional all-out offensive flurry, his greatest strength is perhaps his versatility. Amazing footwork coupled with speed; he is both a technically proficient boxer and a big puncher. Creativity is one of his foremost weapons. And in this fight it was Crawford’s creativity that was on display as he solved the riddle of Postol’s aforementioned prowess as a prolific jabber.

    [Please feel free to check out more at the link.]
     
    LangfordBarrow likes this.
  2. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    The Merry Go Round Can Be An Unforgiving Ride

    Shutting down the jab is the most obvious route to victory against Postol, but it is easier said than done. The man is a volume puncher and throws no shortage of his favorite weapon – and after he has established the range via the 1, he will begin to follow it up with any number of punches. But what happens when Postol is unable to establish his principle weapon? That is the question that Crawford hypothesized, and we found out the answer this Saturday night. As it turns out, Postol’s inability to utilize the jab resulted in his offense stagnating completely. Everything was built off this fundamental. The ability to touch the opponent. To feel the range. To break their rhythm. Without that, Postol was reduced to some strange shell of a fighter that we hadn’t seen prior. But how exactly was Crawford able to accomplish this?

    First and foremost it was his movement. Viktor Postol has excellent footwork and generally uses this to stay on the outside where he likes to pick his opponents apart at range, as he usually enjoys a considerable reach advantage. However, despite having the usual luxury in terms of reach, he did not win the battle of footwork on this particular night. Not by a long shot. In fact, if any one component of the fight could be said to be the difference maker, it very well might be the obvious disparity between the quality of movement among the two. Crawford spent much of the fight circling left and then right, never committing to any one side, keeping his opponent guessing, achieving superior angles, and firing off counter shots when appropriate. This did a few things.

    Firstly, it drew Viktor Postol out and forced him to chase. As noted before, Postol often likes to counter. Crawford’s refusal to lead, when combined with the subsequent footwork, forced Postol’s hand and put him in a situation where he had to chase him. This is a classic situation of a fighter being extremely proficient in one area of the fight only to be forced into an area of fighting that falls outside of his comfort zone. Just like a boxer can be a master of long range fighting but fail miserably on the inside, so too can a counter puncher be befuddled when dropped into circumstances that see him chasing, pursuing, and leading the dance all while on the front foot. Meanwhile Crawford is extremely comfortable fighting off of the back foot and often thrives in doing so. It is also important to note that when you are constantly moving forward your feet are never set. And if your feet aren’t set, that means you aren’t throwing punches. You could see the result of this as Postol attempted to walk his opponent down only to push his jabbing hand forward with no real gusto, often extending it but rarely firing it. This was the first step in taking away the jab.

    Secondly, Crawford never committed to circling to any one side. He explored a variety of angles, often bumping to the outside to hit the 1-2 or the straight left down the pipe via the dominant angle after slipping the jab, only to circle back to the inside after a period of time. This made him extremely unpredictable and kept Postol guessing, further disallowing him to set his feet in order to jab. More so, Crawford’s refusal to stay off the center-line made it incredibly difficult to substantiate any sort of linear-based attack, which makes up the bulk of Postol’s offensive arsenal. Not only was Crawford forcing his opponent's hand in putting him in a leading situation which had him initially uncomfortable, but he was also stacking the odds in his own favor by creating circumstances that would make it very difficult for his opponent to lead effectively to begin with.
     
    LangfordBarrow likes this.
  3. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Now as we very well know, fighting is a two-way street. Just as there was a remedy to shut down the jab, so too is there a solution for the movement of Crawford. Movement counters movement. However, it takes the right kind of movement to address the problems that were being presented by the elusive, quick-footed Omaha native. Crawford spent most of his time well on the outside away from punching range until he decided he wanted to engage. This meant that Postol could only mount an offensive on Crawford’s terms. As a result, he found himself stepping forward, trying to close the distance to long or mid-range where he could start being effective. The problem with a linear route of pursuit, however, lies in the fact that it allows your opponent to circle out and re-establish the distance. Postol did this over and over again all night, following his opponent around the ring, failing to corner him for any significant period of time. As tempting as it is when an opponent is dancing away and evading you, pushing directly into them is actually the worst thing you can do. Employing lateral movement by stepping to the same side as them is by far the easiest and most effective method of cutting the ring off. This was the tactic that could have turned the fight around for Postol, and it was the in-ring adjustment that was conspicuously absent.

    Here the brilliant boxing analyst Lee Wylie shows some wonderful examples of boxers cutting off the ring:

    Boxing: Short Studies (Cutting off the Ring)

    Another interesting fact to note is that Crawford is a switch hitter. One of the most fascinating things about his style is his noted ability to fight extremely well in either the orthodox or southpaw stance. In this fight we saw him fight almost exclusively southpaw, and that is for good reason. It is well noted that jabbing tends to be much less effective against southpaws due to the lead hands being lined up in this position, thus decreasing the amount of distance for what is inherently a long-range attack and placing it in a position where it is more easily blocked or parried by the opposing lead hand. When you couple this with Crawford’s movement and Postol’s inability to cut off the ring, then it becomes obvious why this contest got out of hand quickly.
     
    Strange King and LangfordBarrow like this.
  4. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Terence Crawford Has Arrived

    All in all, Crawford was just too varied in his attack for his opponent to deal with. Postol has a few extremely effective tools in his arsenal, however, when those tools were negated by way of an utterly brilliant strategy executed to a tee, it was shown that the game as a whole suffered tremendously. Without the jab through which his entire offense is predicated on, no combos shall follow. Take away that jab, and that vaunted straight right will cease to exist. This left one man with little options, and the other with more than plenty. One boxer proved to be a master of the adjustment, modifying nuances in his style to gain incremental advantages until they all piled up. The other boxer remained unable to adjust in his approach and paid the consequences.

    If you had only seen Viktor Postol fight this past Saturday, you might call him overrated. You might have worse things to say about him, even. But the fact remains that he is without a doubt the second best boxer in the world at 140 lbs. The only problem? The best boxer in that weight class is the best by a mile. Postol is a good fighter, but Terence Crawford made the argument for greatness. Can he solidify that argument with a shot against Manny Pacquiao potentially looming in September? Only time will tell. But I sure am excited to find out.
     
    Strange King and LangfordBarrow like this.
  5. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Anyone else watch the fight and have the same viewing experience? I know a lot of people were complaining about it being boring, but I genuinely thought it was the best performance of Terence Crawford's career by far. Just a more disciplined, non-reckless version of his game.
     
    Strange King and DaveDave like this.
  6. K4BOSH

    K4BOSH Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    817
    Location:
    Vallejo, Ca
    So what Bud did to Postol was like what Bullet did to Holm?

    I saw his HBO special the week before and had planned on watching the fight but the free HBO preview had ended by that time. Based on what you had seen, would you say he beats Pacquiao? I heard there was potential of them two fighting Pacquiao's last match.
     
  7. treelo

    treelo //Do something here

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Crawford will beat Pacquiao IMO

    i think he has a bit too much lateral movement and enough power to stop Pacquiao being reckless
     
  8. KillerIsBack V2

    KillerIsBack V2 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    Funniest part was when Postol shot in for a hold, and Bud grabbed him int eh air and rolled around ith a smile like a hulk.

    EDIT: someone please make a gif!
     
    Strange King likes this.
  9. Strange King

    Strange King Strange Music

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    10,948
    Likes Received:
    3,995
    Location:
    Heaven
    Roach already stated he's advising pac nor to fight Crawford. This is not the first time roach has advised pac to stay away from said fighter
     
  10. KillerIsBack V2

    KillerIsBack V2 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    Pac Ducking. tsk tsk. Before he moved up Raoch said he was interested.
     
  11. stuff jones

    stuff jones Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,228
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    No he didn't say that. That was a just another lousy Boxing Scene shit stirring headline.
     
    Strange King likes this.
  12. senri

    senri The belt that resides inside you

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    10,610
    Location:
    Inside
    As much as i would like to see Terence penetrate Pac in order to enlighten him about the black flesh there are other delectable fights that can be made. You all need patience, don't dwell too much on what can be, the future is always uncertain. I like speculations as much as the next man, but one must exercise moderation by tugging and pulling on these hypothesis with delicate precision. That way when the time is right to ascertain next great chaos mind can be kept fresh and juicy.
     
    k1ngjester likes this.
  13. Cracky

    Cracky Fanny Pack

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Likes Received:
    316
    Location:
    Norman,OK
    I don't know ..but it's an interesting fight for sure.. Crawford is the real deal
     
  14. wilddeuces

    wilddeuces Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,958
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Location:
    Canada
    He moved laterally and hooked over the top of the jab.
     
  15. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Wow, I thought I set the thread to send replies to my gmail account, but apparently not because I thought this thread denied instantly. Sorry for ignoring you all, this is my first time logging on in a couple days because I've been sick.
     
  16. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Absolutely. I was actually working on a Holm/Shevchenko analysis that never dropped because UFC 201 snuck up on me, and I was blown away by the amount of parallels and similarities between those two fights.

    I mean, it's tough to say, but I like Crawford in that fight. I will be very impressed if Pac takes that fight at this point in his career.
     
  17. NinjaMikeMoore

    NinjaMikeMoore The Fight Geek

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    Yep. It was textbook work put in against the jab, executed masterfully.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.