Terence Crawford: I’m putting on a show against Jeff Horn on Saturday
By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford says he’s not Manny Pacquiao, and he’s bigger stronger and it’ll be a different story against Jeff Horn on Saturday night. Crawford states that he’s in his prime of his career, unlike Pacquiao, 39, who was past his best when he fought Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) last year in July. Horn beat Pacquiao by a 12 round unanimous decision in a close fight that could have gone either way.
In a bad sign for Horn, 30, he came in at 148 pounds in his first weigh-in attempt on Friday for the Crawford fight. Horn took his clothes off and weighed in at 147.5 lbs. Fortunately for Horn, he was able to go back to his dressing room to lose the last one-half pounds to get down to 147. He then weighed in at 147.
Crawford will be challenging Horn for his WBO welterweight title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in last Vegas, Nevada. This is the first fight for Crawford at 147. He’s expected to win easily, but there are still a lot of people that are wondering whether he has the size, frame or the power to compete at the highest rungs of the welterweight division.
Crawford, 30, may be better than Pacquiao, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to win the fight. It’s still going to require Crawford to have a lot of heart and a good chin against Horn, because he’s probably not going to be able to blow through him like he’s done against the smaller, lesser fighters he’s beaten in the past. Horn is a 2012 Olympian with better boxing skills than most people realize. Crawford seems to think he’s facing a guy without a lot of talent in Horn. Crawford might be surprised at how talented Horn is. If Crawford is banking on Horn being as limited as some of his recent opponents, he might be shocked when he gets inside the ring with him. Horn is NOT another Julius Indongo, Dierry Jean, Felix Diaz, Viktor Postol, John Molina Jr. or Hank Lundy.
“I’m not Manny Pacquiao. I’m bigger. I’m stronger,” Crawford said to ESPN.com. ”I’m in my prime, and that’s going to show come Saturday. We’ll see Saturday night who’s getting rocked and dropped.”
Horn is going to turn the fight into a brawl a look to hurt Crawford. It’s doubtful that Crawford will be able to score an early knockout like he did in his last fight against 35-year-old over-the-hill Julius Indongo. Crawford is not normally the type to score quick knockouts. He lacks the offense to KO guys early, because he’s too much of a pot-shot counter puncher. If Crawford is going to win this fight, it’s going to be by a 12 round unanimous decision.
Since the Nebraska native Crawford is talking about how he’s bigger, stronger and better than Pacquiao, I guess he won’t have any excuses if he fails impress against Horn. There won’t be any excuses for Crawford if he struggles and looks horrible against him. Crawford needs to put the emphasis on looking good in this fight and not stinking up the joint like he did in his fights against Viktor Postol, John Molina Jr. and Felix Diaz. Those fights were extremely boring to watch. Crawford needs to look good in this fight, because a lot of the times he’s boring to watch due to his dull counter punching fighting style.
I don’t know if Crawford is a bigger puncher than Pacquiao. That’s a subjective thing. Pacquiao might be
as powerful as Crawford. If there is any difference, it’s not by a whole lot. Pacquiao has better hand speed than Crawford, and he’s had a MUCH better career. There’s no comparison. Crawford’s best wins of his career have been against B-level fighters and past their prime A-level guys like Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford beat Gamboa when he was over-the-hill. Crawford’s best wins of his career have been against Ricky Burns, Indongo, Thomas Dulorme, John Molina Jr., Felix Diaz and Viktor Postol.
”This is what everybody’s been waiting on — for Terence Crawford to move up to 147. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show come Saturday night,” Crawford said.
I hate to disagree with Crawford, but I think he’s dead wrong about his belief that the boxing fans want to see him fighting Jeff Horn. This isn’t the fight that the boxing fans want to see. The fans want to see Crawford face Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. The fans want to see Crawford fight the likes of Jermell Charlo, Jaime Munguia and Gennady Golovkin. The fans DON’T want to see Crawford fight Horn, aside from the Australian boxing fans. They want to see Horn fight Crawford, but they’re the only ones. This fight has gained no traction with the U.S casual or hardcore boxing fans. It’s about as interesting as this Saturday’s fights between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout, and Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. Those are not interesting matches, because the fans already know who’s going to win.
Hopefully, Crawford doesn’t try and showboat on Saturday by switch-hitting needlessly over and over again without any need. Crawford needs to stand and fight and not try and needlessly change stances. If Crawford wants to impress the boxing public, he’ll stand in the center of the ring and look to slug with Horn from start to finish. If Crawford has the talent to win the fight, he’ll be fine in standing in one place and slugging it out with Horn until the bitter finish. Crawford is going to have to fight like that if he wants to become popular, because right now he’s failing at becoming a crossover star. The small number of boxing fans that like Crawford are ones that enjoy watching movement, counter punching and holding. The vast majority of the fans prefer to see fighters like Gennady Golovkin, who mixes it up with his opponents and looks to KO them. You won’t see Golovkin running, holding and wasting time changing fighting stances all night long in belief that it’s helping him.
Jeff Horn 148 vs. Terence Crawford 146.5
Jose Pedraza 135 vs. Antonio Moran 134.4
Jose Benavidez 146.5 vs. Frank Rojas 147
Shakur Stevenson 126.5 vs. Aelio Mesquita 127
Maxim Dadashev 140 vs. Darleys Perez 139.5
Steven Nelson 172 vs. DeShon Webster 171.5