The Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford WBO welterweight championship event is going to be a real interesting fight that could deliver one of the most exciting fights of 2018.
The match up pits a smooth boxer puncher in Terence Crawford against a dirty come forward brawler in Jeff Horn.
Both combatants are undefeated and headlining their first Las Vegas fight card on ESPN. The fight should have been on regular ESPN or ESPN2 instead of the online ESPN+ App where users must pay a monthly fee to watch different sporting events and shows. Most casual sports fans have no clue who Terence Crawford is and barely know Jeff Horn as the man who got a gift decision over Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane. Putting this fight on a pay to stream App is not going to get them any new casual fans, but it was ultimately up to the network to put it there.
Crawford is a throwback boxer, he looks like Tommy Hearns and has one of the most difficult styles to face because he switch hits from both the orthodox and southpaw stances, this causes confusion for his opponents and offsets their ability to adapt to a specific rhythm. When a fighter is unorthodox like Crawford and constantly changing stances it makes it difficult for the opponent to prepare and get his timing.
Horn is also unorthodox. He doesn’t box like a slick technical boxer, rather he uses smothering tactics and bully moves to win his fights. Think of a Ricky Hatton type with more power and speed. What makes him awkward is his rugged style of just mauling guys, fighting dirty with head butts, elbows, clinches, and choke holds.
Manny Pacquiao who is past his best years couldn’t keep Horn of him, the much smaller Filipino boxer was struggling to keep his distance to let his combos go because the much bigger Horn was always on top of him closing the gap.
I believe Horn won the fight and Teddy Atlas and Stephen A Smith swayed the casual fans with their emotional rants after the fight claiming it was one of the worst live robberies in recent years. The fight was actually very close but Pacquiao failed to throw any punches after the huge round 9 when he nearly stopped Horn, after that round Horn came back and recovered while Pacquiao got tired and couldn’t pull the trigger.
I’m a huge Pacquiao fan, but I have to be fair and unbiased he lost the fight. Horn is an underdog once again, and I believe he has another opportunity shock the boxing world on Saturday night when he takes on undefeated American challenger Terence Crawford.
Crawford is more technical and much bigger than Manny Pacquiao, but this will be his first test at 147 pounds and the question about his power and chin will be answered. Can Crawford carry his power from 140 to 147 and will he be able to take the punch of a huge welterweight like Jeff Horn.
We saw a small Yuriorkis Gamboa rock and wobble Crawford, and Horn is twice his size and an even more ferocious aggressor. Horn has the heart and will take a beating and still come forward, Crawford is also rugged he will not back down if the fight gets dirty he will throw low blows back and pay you back with hard clean shots with bad intentions.
The reason I believe Horn pulls the upset off is the motivation factor. Horn is being treated like a second class citizen heading into the fight. He feels Top Rank is trying to sabotage him and wants to prove the American fans wrong who claim he got a gift decision over Manny Pacquiao. That motivation to prove the doubters wrong is a strong reason for someone to shine on fight night.
Crawford is a mellow guy, he is very chill and cerebral his motivation isn’t as intense but he is a natural-born fighter. He seems to get mean if you get mean first, if he sees an opening he will go for the finish but doesn’t look for it. A lot of people are saying Horn is a cakewalk, but Crawford and his trainer Bomac seem to be overlooking Horn, just like Pacquiao and Freddie Roach did. If we learn from boxing history a lot of top class fighters have loss to guys because they overlooked them.
Horn will pressure Crawford and not let him breath, if he can take Crawford’s best punch, it will build up his confidence in the fight and make him pressure and bully even more. I don’t think Crawford will be able to handle the fight, he will give his all but the dirty style of Horn will take its toll on him and break him physically.
I see Horn pulling the upset maybe by TKO in round 8 or 9. Crawford is supposed to win, but I can’t help but root for the underdog.