WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford and challenger John Molina Jr. will be fighting this Saturday night on HBO at the CenturyLink Center in the hometown of Crawford in Omaha, Nebraska. This is expected to be a one-sided affair for Crawford, as he’s seen by many as the next superstar in boxing.
Some have even gone so far as to label the 29-year-old Crawford as the next Floyd Mayweather Jr. That’s lofty praise for a fighter who lacks the personality, hand speed and the reflexes that Mayweather possessed in his prime. However, Crawford is the next best thing to Mayweather the sport has right now.
The Crawford-Molina fight comes down to these areas:
Power – Molina is probably the harder puncher of the two in terms of raw power. Crawford has excellent power too, but his power comes more from his hand speed than true power. Molina is a very hard puncher when he’s connecting.
Speed – The speed is overwhelmingly in Crawford’s favor. He’s not a blazing fast guy like Mayweather or Roy Jones Jr. was in the prime of his career, but he’s clearly faster than Molina. Crawford’s speed might be too much for Molina unless he can figure out a way to time him. Molina beat a very fast Mickey Bey by rallying to stop him in the 10th round in their fight in 2013.
Bey was ahead on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage by the scores 90-81, 89-82 and 88-83. But the way that Molina Jr. was able to come on and get the knockout in the 10th showed how dangerous he is when he’s motivated.
Ring generalship – Crawford is the superior fighter in the ring generalship category. Crawford rarely loses a round to anyone, and it’s hard to imagine Molina being able to win a decision against him. If Molina is going to beat Crawford on Saturday, it’s going to take a knockout for him to do it.
Experience – The experience is in Molina’s favor for this fight. Crawford has only faced a tiny handful of good fighters during his career. He’s beaten mostly fringe level and 2nd tier guys.
Molina has a chance of winning this fight on Saturday night if he uses his punching power and pressure to go after Crawford. We saw how Viktor Postol was able to give Crawford a lot of problems in the 12th round of their recent fight by pressuring him hard. Crawford did not react well to getting stalked and hit hard by Postol. I suspect that it would be the same thing if Molina Jr. puts Crawford under duress in this fight.