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Horn’s trainer likes his chances against Crawford

Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: It’s thought that WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn has little chance of successfully defending his title against unbeaten challenger Terence Crawford in their fight on April 21 at a still to be determined venue in the U.S, but the Australian’s trainer Glenn Rushton believes he has a good chance of winning the fight.

Rushton notes that Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) gets hit in his fights and he’s not big for the welterweight division. This is the first fight for the 30-year-old Crawford, who is moving up from the 140 lb. weight class after dominating that division for the last few years. Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) will easily be the biggest fighter that Crawford has ever faced in his 10-year pro career.

It’s interesting that Top Rank will be letting the Horn vs. Crawford fight take place outside of Australia for some reason. They were eager to let Manny Pacquiao fight Horn in Brisbane, Australia last year in July, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to do the same thing with Crawford. You have to wonder why Crawford doesn’t have to Horn in Australia like Pacquiao did. I guess it might be bad for Crawford if he had to deal with being the visiting fighter in Australia. If Crawford got roughed up and lost a controversial12 round decision the way that Pacquiao did, it might end badly.

Top Rank is trying to turn Crawford into a big star. He obviously can’t afford to get roughed up by Horn and potentially lose a questionable decision the way Pacquiao did in Australia. It’s too bad Pacquiao had to fight in Horn’s home country at this stage in his career after the great career he’s had. When you see a superstar reduced to fighting in another fighter’s home country, it makes you wonder why he’s being put in that position. Hopefully, Crawford doesn’t get stuck fighting in another fighters’ home country when he’s 38 the way Pacquiao did.

“We’re not running from anyone,” Rushton said to The New Daily. “If you want to be the best you’ve got to beat the best. As a welterweight, he [Crawford’s] not big. He gets hit – it will be interesting to see how he takes the power of Jeff Horn. We’re confident of our chances – the bookies aren’t, but we are,” said Rushton.

Horn would do well to try and pressure Crawford and force him to get in an exchange of punches. Crawford looked vulnerable in the 12th round in his fight with Victor Postol in 2016. Postol got the better of Crawford in the 12th, and forced him to take off running. Crawford finished the fight badly, running around the ring, sticking his tongue out while being booed by the boxing fans at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Crawford was sitting on a big lead at the time, so he could afford to coast. He didn’t look good running, and sticking out his tongue at Postol. Crawford looked like the furthest thing from a future PPV attraction. Horn needs to force Crawford to trade with him for him to have a chance of winning. If Horn doesn’t, Crawford will pot shot him and taunt him all night long like he did against Postol and Felix Diaz.

Crawford is the favorite in the fight. It’s good that Horn is defending his World Boxing Organization title rather than steering around Crawford. Horn’s options weren’t that good. Horn could take the fight with Crawford for a guaranteed nice payday or take a gamble by fighting 42-year-old Australian Anthony Mundine. Horn took the guaranteed payday with Crawford.

”He [Crawford] switches at will from a southpaw to an orthodox stance,” said Rushton. ”He’s one of the very few boxers in the world that can do that. He’s a brilliant counter-puncher, he’s a great boxer, we’re up for the challenge.”

The 5’9” Horn has to really work hard to make the 147 lb. weight limit for his fights. He’s likely going to be in the 170s by the time he rehydrates fully on April 21 against Crawford. If Crawford doesn’t bulk up for the fight, he could be giving away as much as 15 pounds on the night of the fight. Crawford rehydrates to around 157. Horn is in the low 170s like middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. Like I said, Horn is a big welterweight. He should at the very least be fighting at junior middleweight if not middleweight right now. Horn’s size is what makes him so effective at welterweight.

Horn is not a welterweight. He’s essentially a middleweight that melts down to fight welterweights. If Horn was fighting in the correct division for his body size, I doubt that he’d be anywhere close to being as good as he is now at welterweight. Horn vs. Golovkin would be a terrible mismatch. You could say the same thing about Horn fighting other middleweights like Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, Sergey Derevyanchenko or Jermall Charlo. Those guys aren’t bigger than Horn. They’re just a lot more talented.

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