THE biggest fight in Australian boxing for this calendar year is finally here.
Unbeaten WBO welterweight ruler Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) will take on the consensus best boxer in the sport and former undisputed light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) in a salivating fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
We spoke to our panel of industry insiders to get their thoughts on the highly anticipated clash.
Jayde Mitchell, Super Middleweight – Record: 0-1
Crawford S12 Horn: My heart says Horn, but my head says Crawford. I see Horn being relentless with forward pressure, constant angles and smothering Crawford’s work with his bigger frame. I can also see both fighters having their moments, but Horn out-working Crawford.
Unfortunately, I feel that he’s not going to be done any favours in Las Vegas and will come up short in a questionable decision. It sucks, but unless Horn is able to stop Crawford, I feel they’ll take it from him.
Adam Wilcock, Promoter/Manager – Record: 19-13
Crawford KO Horn: Like all of Australia, I’m hoping and praying that Horn lands the one shot needed to win the fight. Unlike Manny, Crawford is in the prime of his career. I don’t think he has the power to hurt Jeff, but likely an accumulation that’ll force a stoppage.
Dan Attias, Columnist – Record: 6-2
Crawford TKO10 Horn: Jeff Horn has done amazing things for Aussie boxing over the last twelve months, but the fairytale is about to come to an end. Horn should be commended for taking on a fighter of the magnitude of Terence Crawford but I feel it’s just a step too far.
Look for Horn to start fast, roughing up Crawford over the first few rounds before the American finds his rhythm en route to a ninth or tenth round stoppage.
Chris McCullen, Trainer – Record: 5-7
Crawford W12 Horn: Obviously on paper Jeff is up against it, Crawford is the real deal and is solid in all areas. Jeff will need to make it as rough and untidy as he can, and not let Crawford form a rhythm. Jeff has a very awkward style, good size, good power and a massive ticker.
He’ll need it all in this fight. I’d love to say Jeff will get the win – and I really hope he does – but I think Crawford might be a bit polished for him. I’ll be cheering for him no matter what.
Neil Devey, Journalist – Record: 7-6
Crawford TKO6 Horn: Jeff Horn is a true champion who deserves to hold a world title. However, Terence Crawford is an elite level boxer who is likely to have too much for the Queenslander.
Tony Tolj, Manager – Record: 1-0
Crawford UD12 Horn: Like many, my heart says Horn and brain tells me Crawford. Jeff has the trait of always finding a way to win the fight and I’ve gone against him twice. I went against him once with Naoufel Ben Rabah and Manny Pacquiao and he’s won both of them.
I still think Crawford wins a rugged tough fight and edges it over twelve rounds. I hope the third time is a charm and I’m wrong here.
Micky Capparelli, Betelgeuse Films – Record: 1-1
Crawford UD12 Horn: A lot of people are dismissive of Horn but underestimate his punch resistance and resolve. Horn took Pacquiao’s best punches in the ninth round and went on to win the following round and bout.
They often say the last thing a fighter loses is their power, and you would think Pacquiao is a bigger puncher than Crawford. Having said that, Crawford can bang – and wear an opponent down – even while he’s on the back foot. It will be interesting to see if he carries his power up to a third weight division.
I see Crawford being cagey in the early rounds and Horn giving him trouble with his jerky rhythm and awkward style. But after getting his timing and jab on going, I see Crawford wearing Horn down and cutting him. I see Horn ending on his feet in a late stoppage.
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) June 7, 2018
George Kambosos Jr, Lightweight – Record: Debut
Crawford UD12 Horn: This is a great fight for an Aussie on the world stage, but against one of the pound-for-pound best.
This is a huge opportunity and I can personally see this fight going three ways. Either Horn gets disqualified with his dirty fight tactics, it goes to the later rounds and Crawford gets a stoppage, or it’s a wide decision. But I think Crawford wins in any of these scenarios.
Billy Dib, former IBF featherweight champion – Record: 5-8
Crawford W12 Horn: I believe it will be a very competitive fight, this will be skill against will. How does one prepare for the relentless of a fighter like Jeff Horn? I would like to see Jeff win, but my boxing mind tells me Crawford wins in a close points decision.
Luke Jackson, Featherweight – Record: 3-3
Crawford W12 Horn: Terence Crawford is number one or two pound-for-pound. The guy can do it all – but I made a big mistake in writing Jeff off against Pacquiao – he proved me and many others wrong. I really hope I’m wrong again but I think Crawford will win.
Cody Kaye, Journalist for Fox Sports – Record: 7-6
Horn W12 Crawford: There’s no doubt that right now Terence Crawford is one of the slickest boxers on the planet. But no matter what he’s done in training, he can’t prepare for a guy as awkward and unorthodox as Jeff Horn. He’s also never fought at welterweight before, and he’s never fought anyone as big as Jeff Horn before.
If Jeff jumps on him from the start, control the tempo and turn it into a war of wills, I think he’ll shock the world for the second time in his career. The Americans keep writing him off, but there’s something uniquely tough and special about Jeff. I think he wins a war on points.
Sam Labruna, Trainer – Record: 15-8
Crawford TKO Horn: Regardless of result, Jeff Horn is a winner to be mixing it at this level and has my respect, but the coaches hat must go on here. Jeff will be the bigger stronger guy on the night – but I see him being a little too loose – and that’s not a good recipe against a southpaw counter puncher like Terence Crawford.
On that alone I see Crawford dominating and winning by stoppage. I want the Aussie to win, but technically I can’t see it.
Brendan Bourke, Manager/Advisor to DiBella Entertainment – Record: 19-8
Crawford UD12 Horn: I’m really looking forward to the fight. Jeff shocked the World beating Pacquiao, and that will go down as one of the best wins an Aussie boxer has ever achieved. I honestly think Crawford is pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world.
I think Jeff has a chance to become the first Australian boxer to be considered the pound-for-pound best, what a fantastic opportunity. Regardless of the result, Jeff’s stock will rise again and in defeat, he’ll still shock the world at how good he is. Crawford wins unanimously based on superior ring IQ, speed and brilliant counter-punching.
Adam Santarossa, Journalist for News.com.au – Record: 9-6
Horn W12 Crawford: Horn has not been respected since his win over Pacquiao and this is his best opportunity to shut up his detractors around the world. It won’t be easy, the Crawford fight is a harder fight than Pacquiao. Crawford is slick and hard to pin down.
He has all the tools, but there’s question marks. He’s never fought at welterweight, let alone a guy the size of and as durable as Horn. Jeff has to be mindful of walking into a shot. He likes to be busy, but he can’t be reckless. If he stays composed, I see this going to the late rounds.
Horn’s workrate is something else and I’m hoping that takes him to a decision win. I’m expecting a close close fight.
Gareth Williams, Trainer – Record: 15-11
Horn TKO Crawford: Im going against the experts and calling a stoppage win by Jeff Horn. I think Jeff is strong and his style provides a real handful for anyone. I think his movement, strength and size will take its toll on Crawford.
Brett Bonetti, Journalist for 6PR – Record: 8-5
Crawford TKO7 Horn: Crawford is expected to be too good for Horn – so the experts say in the US – but they said the same for the Pacquiao fight and look how that turned out. When you look at it, Horn has a few things in his favour.
He will be the bigger guy, has a decent right hand, and is facing Crawford who has been out of the ring in ten months. Horn seemingly and has had a better weight cut for this fight as well compared to his last fight. Plus Crawford is coming up in weight.
Horn will have to brawl and bully Crawford, frustrate, give him no space, and try to wear him down. Crawford has really fast hand speed, punching power and defensive skills, as well as his ability to comfortably switch stances from orthodox to southpaw. I am hoping for a victory for the Hornet, but the head says Crawford will be a bit too good.
Lincoln Hudson, Trainer – Record: 19-10
Crawford KO Horn: Everybody in the country is looking forward to this, what a great fight. I think Jeff has a size and strength advantage, but Crawford has all the speed. There is a reason he is so highly rated out there. Once again, I say this with pain and I truly hope I’m so wrong.
I think Jeff will make it rough and will frustrate Crawford in the early rounds, but by the middle rounds I suspect Crawford will dominate and do it easy. At the end of the day – Crawford will be too fast and too slick – I think this is just one step up too far for Horn.
George Reno, Trainer – Record: 19-7
Crawford TKO Horn: I’d love Horn to win this fight. Even though he got the win against Pacquiao, the fight clearly took a lot out of him, because his didn’t look great against Gary Corcoran in his last outing. I think Crawford will be one step too high in competition.
I think Crawford will win inside the distance. Given the styles, I’d say it’ll probably be on cuts or maybe his corner throws in the towel.
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