Jeff Horn Set for Biggest Challenge of his Career Against Terence Crawford
Undefeated boxer Terence Crawford will attempt to take WBO welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn’s belt on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Updated: June 5, 2018 • 8:26 PM ET
Las Vegas will host Saturday's fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Boxer Jeff Horn will defend his WBO world welterweight title against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world on Saturday when he battles Terence “Bud” Crawford in Las Vegas at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Anticipating the result, many fighters in the division will have their eyes on the fight.
Horn (18-0-1) is on a 15-fight win streak and last defended his belt against Gary Corcoran, winning via stoppage in the 11th round due to Corcoran’s bloody left eye. Corcoran didn’t represent an overwhelming contender and the fight was in Horn’s native Australia, but a successful title defense can only boost a fighter’s confidence nonetheless. However, Crawford represents an entirely new challenge for Horn.
Crawford (32-0) began his world title run in Glasgow, Scotland by defeating Ricky Burns via unanimous decision to claim the WBO world lightweight title in March 2014. He then defended that belt twice, defeating Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymundo Beltran later that year, and moved up to 140 pounds with another successful title run on his mind.
Crawford beat Thomas Dulorme by TKO to claim the vacant WBO super lightweight title in April 2015 and defended the belt against Dierry Jean (October 2015) and Hank Lundy (February 2016), smashing both en route to TKO victories. He then faced Viktor Postol to unify the WBO and WBC super lightweight belts in July 2016 and dominated the fight, winning by unanimous decision. Crawford followed the precise performance over Postol with dominant defenses against John Molina Jr. and Felix Diaz.
In his most recent fight last August, Crawford went for another huge win against Julius Indongo that would completely unify the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles. The American once again dominated, winning by knockout in the third round and leaving him no choice but to move up to welterweight to challenge the 147-pound division’s elite. The 30-year-old from Omaha, Neb. will attempt to put his stamp on boxing history by becoming a champion in three different weight classes on Saturday.
Horn controversially won the WBO world welterweight title by defeating Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao last July. The 30-year-old Horn won the fight by unanimous decision at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, and the ruling stunned many viewers. Crawford, however, recently told BoxingScene.com that either fighter could have won the bout.
“I thought it could’ve went either way because Horn was winning a lot of the early rounds and he finished the fight very strong,” Crawford said. “Pacquiao, in the ninth round, he could’ve finished Jeff Horn, but he was tired just from being pushed around the whole fight. He didn’t have enough in him to do it.
“So I think it could’ve went either way, but if I had to pick [a winner], I probably would’ve picked – that’s kind of hard. Jeff Horn was kind of rough in there. I think he deserved the win, being that he took the fight to Pacquiao and he just looked like he wanted it more.”
The fight against Crawford will be Horn’s first fight outside of Australia or New Zealand, so he’ll have the added pressure of stepping outside of his comfort zone and fighting in the United States.
Despite being an inch shorter than Horn, Crawford has a two-inch reach advantage on the Australian. Many expect Horn to be the heavier fighter on fight day, which likely won’t pair well with Crawford’s speed advantage. However, Horn is also expected to be the aggressor in the fight, which is something Crawford could spend the first few rounds adjusting to.
The question for Horn will be: how much punishment can he absorb? For Crawford: how much can he dish out in a physical battle?
The fight card will air live and stream on ESPN+ (subscription required).
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