A junior welterweight unification fight between Julius Indongo and Terence Crawford could soon become a reality with the news that Indongo and his promoter Nestor Tobias will meet the Crawford camp in New York this weekend.
Tobias and Indongo left for the United States on Wednesday to attend Saturday's world title fight between Crawford and Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden in New York, when Crawford will put his WBC and WBO titles on the line.
Indongo holds the other three major junior welterweight world titles of the WBA, IBF and IBO and since his victory over Ricky Burns last month, talk of a unification bout against Crawford has grown stronger.
Tobias confirmed the news on Wednesday, saying that they wanted to meet and start negotiating with Crawford's camp.
"We are going to watch the fight out of our own interest. We are going to try and meet Crawford's camp so that we can network with them and start negotiations," he said.
"We've got different options on the table and Crawford is one of them. He is the biggest one at the moment, because he's got two world titles, so it will be a good thing to meet him, to watch his fight against Diaz, and to see how he fights. It will also be important to build up contacts with Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing who promotes Crawford's fights," he added.
The IBF had earlier said that Indongo had to meet their mandatory challenger Sergey Lipinets of Kazakhstan or relinquish the IBF belt, but Tobias didn't seem too concerned about that prospect.
"We are still negotiating with the IBF challenger's camp and we will see what they can offer, but in the end we will take the best option for the Blue Machine. He is now one fight away from being a unified champion and that to me is the best option."
Regarding Saturday's fight between Crawford and Diaz, Tobias said that Crawford will start as a firm favourite.
"Diaz is a good boxer and he won a gold medal at the Olympic Games, but I think Crawford will hold the advantage. Diaz is too short for a junior welterweight and he will find it difficult to maintain the pace and match the skills of Crawford. Crawford is also a smart fighter and can adapt and change his game plan, but then again, anything can happen in boxing," he said.
Crawford, who is unbeaten after 30 pro fights has dominated the junior welterweight category and according to some reports he is considering moving up to the welterweight division since he doesn't have much more to accomplish at junior welterweight.
According to a recent article on boxingscene.com, Arum, however, disagreed, saying that a fight against Indongo could be in the pipeline.
"We'll talk to him when he comes to the fight. If the kid wants to fight Terence, then that's the time to talk to him... If the kid says that he wants to fight Terence and that's the fight, you know, we'll make it happen," he was quoted as saying.
Arum was clearly impressed by Indongo and said he would be a good opponent for Crawford.
"He's a good fighter, this guy (Indongo). That's a guy that people haven't heard of because he hasn't fought in the United States. But our matchmakers say he's a damn good fighter and apparently he's looking forward to fighting Terence. There is this kid that's coming on, that's a very, very good fighter, that I think holds two titles now; that's a good possibility," he added.
According to the article, Crawford is also keen to face Indongo.
"I watched the fight and he (Indongo) put on a great performance. He did everything he had to do to get the job done. He's tall and rangy and he can box. It'd be a good fight," he said.