Terence Crawford injured, Jeff Horn fight postponed until May 19 or June
By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford suffered an injury to his right hand training for his April 14th fight against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs). The injury will cause the fight to be delayed until May 19 or June, according to Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.
Arum told Dan Rafael of ESPN the Horn-Crawford fight will need to be rescheduled for May or June.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a great deal of interest from the boxing public in the Horn vs. Crawford fight unfortunately. It makes you wonder if the ticket sales were going well for the fight, which will be taking place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arum wants to keep the Crawford-Horn fight in Vegas rather than moving it to Crawford’s home state of Nebraska. Crawford is popular in Nebraska, but he hasn’t carved out much of any fan base outside of his home state.
ESPN is the right place for the Crawford vs. Horn fight, but it’s still not a great fight. Crawford is viewed by fans as the clear favorite. It would be disappointing if the fight brings in a small crowd at Mandalay Bay. Even postponing the Horn-Crawford fight for two months might not be enough to interest boxing fans in it.
The recently turned 30-year-old Crawford suffered the right-hand injury while sparring. It’s not a serious hand injury for Crawford, but bad enough to have the fight delayed one to two months.
The venue for the Horn vs. Crawford fight is the same. They’ll be fighting at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN will be televising the fight.
“He hurt his hand hitting a guy on top of the head gear,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said to ESPN.com. “We’ve gotten him treated by the best hand doctors. He had an MRI, and there is no ligament tear, thank God. The doctor prescribed two weeks of rest, and then he should be ready to go. We’ll put the fight sometime in late May or early June, but that depends on how Terence’s hand is feeling.”
Arum had floated the idea of making Horn-Crawford a pay-per-view fight card, but that was when he had planned on having former 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao fighting in the co-feature bout against Mike Alvarado. Pacquiao won’t be fighting on the card, however. Without Pacquiao to create interest from the boxing fans, the Horn-Crawford fight card doesn’t have a big enough name to make it a PPV worthy event for the fans. The Horn-Crawford fight was never officially announced.
The undercard fights that were originally supposed to be part of the Crawford-Horn card between WBO super bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) and interim WBO 122lb. champion Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs) has been moved to April 28 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. That fight card will be on ESPN as well. Other fights on the Magdaleno-Dogboe card on April 28 is super middleweight contender Jesse Hart (23-1, 19 KOs) battling Demond Nicholson (18-2-1, 17 KOs), and former heavyweight world title challenger Bryant Jennings squaring off against Joey Dawejko (19-4-4, 11 KOs).
The fight between IBF 115 lb. champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) and Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs), which was supposed to be on the undercard of Horn-Crawford, will be moved to either the undercard of the Jorge Linares vs. Vasyl Lomachenko card on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York or it’ll stay paired with the Horn-Crawford card for whatever date that fight card takes place in May or June.
Crawford needs to face better opposition once he wins the WBO title. That’s the whole problem. Even when Crawford does eventually unseat Horn as the WBO 147 lb. champion, the match-making might keep him from ever becoming a star. Crawford hasn’t been put in exciting fights yet during his career with Top Rank. Crawford’s biggest named opponent during his 10-year pro career is Yuriorkis Gamboa, who he beat by a 9th round knockout in 2014. The rest of the guys that Crawford has beaten haven’t attracted a lot of interest due to them not being well-known in the U.S by the casual boxing fans. If Top Rank can’t setup fights for Crawford against top welterweights like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr. or Amir Khan, it’s unlikely he’ll become a star.
With an extra 1 to 2 months to market the Horn-Crawford fight, perhaps the boxing public will get excited about it. It’s hard to imagine they will, as Horn is not a well-known fighter, and his last win over Manny Pacquiao in July of last year was viewed as a robbery by a lot of fans. The Horn-Crawford fight is such a poor one that the undercard would need Top Rank’s best fighters to pump up interest in the card. It’s too bad Arum is moving Crawford in the direction of WBO champion Horn instead of one of the better known and more popular welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman. If Crawford were fighting one of those champions, there would be massive interest from the boxing public in that fight. Horn is seen as a paper champion by a lot of fans. Arum is Horn’s co-promoter, so it’s not surprising that he’s having Crawford fight him instead of Spence and Thurman, who he doesn’t promote.