Jeff Horn Stops Mundine in One
By: Ste Rowen
Horn Makes Easy Work of Mundine.
Former WBO welterweight world champion, Jeff Horn took less than two minutes to swat away fellow Australian, Anthony Mundine in Horn’s first fight at middleweight in the pro ranks.
Inside a packed-out Suncorp Stadium, the younger man immediately jumped on the front foot and with just less than half of round 1 to go, threw a powerful right to the body, followed up by two left hands to which Mundine didn’t appear to see coming. It sent the 43-year-old falling back onto the canvas and with zero chance of regaining his senses in time to beat the count.
‘The Hornet’ was coming off the back of a brutal stoppage to Terence Crawford in nine rounds, in which he also lost his world title as well as his ‘0’, but his bouts with two future hall of famers in Pacquiao and Crawford, set this fight up nicely for him to prove he’s currently levels above Mundine.
Anthony headed into tonight with a 48-9 (28KOs) record and having fought just once this year in a 2nd round knockout of Tommy Brown. This was just his third fight in three years. And it showed.
Now 19-1-1 (13KOs), Horn spoke post-fight,
‘‘It was easier than I expected it to be. I’m happy to have done it so quickly… I learnt that from my last fight, I was a little too stationary and I was getting a few of those straight shots to the body. I got him with that first one and I knew it was just a matter of time.
He’s an extreme athlete, I’ve got to give him that. He’s done some great things and I’ve only got respect for the guy.’’
The former welterweight champion seems to now be keeping his options open about what he does next but, whether it’s back down to 147, sticking it out at 160 or the in between of 154lb, Horn will almost definitely make his next fight an entertaining watch.
Horn vs. Mundine Means Nothing… and Everything
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Despite concerns that Anthony Mundine would miss the agreed catchweight for the “River City Rumble”, he bizarrely weighed in lighter than Jeff Horn.
Weighing in at 70.25 Kilos compared to Horn’s 70.5, Mundine must now ensure that he does not weigh any more than 75 kilos on fight night.
It was an impressive weight cut for a man who’s 43 years old and looks every bit of it.
Whether he will be able to recover and perform remains to be seen, but perhaps we should also be concerned about his opponent.
Horn has never fought at this weight and the fact that he was heavier than Mundine suggests that he may be in less than optimal condition.
If Horn has indeed blown up well past his fighting weight, it could make things interesting if “The Man” can take the Queenslander into the later rounds.
So what’s at stake tomorrow night,
Well, the WBO Oriental and WBA Oceania Middleweight titles are on the line, but you get the impression neither of these former world champions would be too impressed by that.
Despite the criticisms about this matchup, the outcome could have serious implications on both fighters’ legacies.
It should be a straight forward victory for Horn, who gains very little from this fight if he wins, other than a sweet pay-cheque.
But what if the unthinkable happens?
It’s no secret that Horn has copped criticism for his contentious victory over Pacquaio. Many fans were eager to see him fall to prove that he was a fraud.
There’s no shame in losing to a prodigious talent like Terence Crawford, but if Horn was to lose to a 43 year old Mundine, his legacy would be permanently tarnished.
All of a sudden he would be that guy who robbed Pacquaio, lost the belt in his first title defence and lost to a 43 year old who even in his prime, was an accomplished but never truly elite boxer.
Few Australian boxers have a scalp like Pacquaio on their resume, but there are plenty who have beaten a younger, better version of Mundine.
In short, Horn would be ruined.
Mundine, on the other hand, comes into the fight as a massive underdog.
To say little is expected of him would be an understatement. Three losses in his last five bouts to Joshua Clottey, Charles Hatley and Danny Green, tell the story.
He has looked a shadow of his former self, for some time.
That said, Mundine has had an extraordinary career when you consider that he switched to boxing midway through a successful NRL career.
A three weight world champion with a record of 48-8, and wins over (an albeit diminished version of) Shane Mosley and Daniel Geale, he is without doubt one of the most talented athletes Australia has ever produced.
But he could never shake the perception that he always took the softer option throughout his career, particularly when he was a clear pay-per-view attraction.
Mundine never fought a truly elite fighter in his prime and despite winning multiple world titles, few pundits ever considered him the best in his weight division.
A win over another former world champion- in his prime no less- would provide him with the fairy tale ending he has been craving.
It might even silence those naysayers, at least for a little while.
If Mundine wins, there are huge implications for both fighters, while a Horn win would change very little.
Both men will be paid handsomely regardless.
Horn-Mundine: Ugly Buildup to “Money Fight” Nobody Wanted
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Less than a year ago, Jeff Horn’s camp dismissed the idea of fighting Anthony Mundine as a meaningless money grab that would do little for his legacy.
We’re now less than a week away from a catchweight bout between the two at Suncorp Stadium.
So what’s changed, you ask? Well, maybe a risk-free money fight isn’t such a bad idea after all.
As Fox Sports’ Paul Upham said after Horn’s devastating loss to Terence Crawford, the Queenslander could make more money fighting Mundine than any world-class opponent out there. Not to mention the fact that on paper, it’s probably the easiest fight available.
“It’s nothing against Anthony’s skill, I just don’t think he should be fighting at 42,” Upham said.
“The tougher route is going through America, there’s some really good guys and you’ll have to take less of a payday. So the question is what is most important [to Horn]? His career record and trying to get the welterweight world title back or a big payday against Anthony Mundine?”
Mundine is now 43 and that coveted payday has almost arrived. Love him or hate him, “The Man’s” numbers speak for themselves.
All of his professional bouts have been televised on pay per view. Four of them are in Australia’s Top 10 pay per views ever.
It’s been estimated that his 2006 fight with bitter rival, Danny Green, did around 200,000 pay per view buys- the highest grossing pay per view fight in the world (per capita) for some time. It even outsold Mayweather vs Pacquaio in Australia.
Horn’s been no slouch either, his fight with Manny Pacquaio was one of Australia’s highest selling pay per views, and was staged in front of a sellout crowd of 80,000 at Suncorp Stadium, and a worldwide television audience of 4.4 million people.
Put these two Aussie World Champions in a ring together and you’ve surely got a mega-fight on your hands.
But ticket sales must be stalling if promoter Dean Lonergan’s desperate attempts to grab the headlines, are anything to go by.
In a bid to unsettle and publicly shame Mundine, Lonergan announced that “ring cards” would be displayed by not only women, but also gay and transgender people, at the “River City Rumble”.
Mundine deservedly copped criticism last year when he suggested that same-sex relationships are unnatural and “confusing to society.”
“I always tell my gay friend, you’ve got to find a lady … God will judge you, not me,” he said.
He has since stated that he will not speak about the issue anymore, instead focusing on boxing.
It’s an approach Lonergan would be wise to follow, but he instead attempted to reignite the issue, saying “Anthony has said that he’s not into racial or homophobic slurs anymore and my sense is he will be fully supportive of this,” Lonergan said.
“If he doesn’t it will show he is still a bigot and if he does it shows anyone can change.’’
Shortly after, a series of provocative tweets were sent from Jeff Horn’s social media accounts, challenging Mundine to be a “champion of equality.”
Either Lonergan has become a staunch human rights activist overnight, or it was an insincere attempt to capitalise on an extremely divisive issue, furthering the tiresome hero vs villain narrative.
In the Fight Promo, Horn’s trainer, Glen Rushton, loosely compared his man’s fight with Mundine to his battle with bullies in school.
He’s had fights like this all of his life, according to Rushton, and “Anthony’s a bigger, stronger, more vocal opponent. Jeff just has to overcome all of that and just show that no one’s going to push him around.”
So whose side are you on? The humble schoolteacher who overcame bullying and embraces people of all genders, cultures and sexual preferences? Or the brash, apparently bigoted, loud-mouth?
If the cheap publicity stunt was also intended to get under Mundine’s skin, it surely had the opposite effect.
Horn admitted himself that a loss to the veteran could spell the end of his career and Rushton highlighted that “The Man” comes into his final fight with nothing to lose.
Australian Boxing’s most divisive star must surely feel that Horn’s camp is now feeling the pressure.
Not that Mundine hasn’t stirred up controversy himself, recently stating that Horn epitomises “white man privilege” and that the bout is a fight for “equality and justice.”
He is adamant that he will not stand for the Australian National Anthem on the night as he feels it’s a song that celebrates “white supremacy.”
But we’ve certainly reached a new low with this reckless attempt to force Australians to a pick a side in this sporting contest, for purely political reasons.
Horn has distanced himself from these promotional tactics, confirming that it was his team, not him, who were responsible for the controversial posts on his social media accounts.
“I think the lines were crossed … the promoters have put these things up making it look like I’ve said them and it is damaging to my reputation.”
Horn warned that he “would be tempted to walk away if they were to continue that way.”
With the greatest of respect to the social and political issues highlighted, those who tune in to this fight are only interested in seeing which guy can punch the other in the face more.
Building it up as anything more than that is simply dishonest.
He’s sure to make a decent pay cheque on the night, but one wonders whether this fight will do lasting damage to Horn’s brand in the long-term.
What’s Next for Pacquiao?
By: Oliver McManus
The clock was ticking, the guard began to change as star after star began to fade into the background but an ever present constant in the boxing hemisphere, Manny Pacquiao, was determined to shift the sands of time back into his favour last weekend as he faced Lucas Matthysse, in Malaysia, for yet another world title.
“He’s too old”, the doubters said. “Matthysse has too much power”, cried the naysayers. “Getting rid of Roach was a mistake”, echoed those who questioned Pac Man.
He paid no attention to the script, setting about what can only be described as a demolition job in crushing the Argentine in a manner akin to taking a hammer to a peanut. Matthysse landed a fair few half-decent punches but never looked like carrying a realistic threat to the legacy of Pacquiao and was dropped time after time before the contest was waived off in the seventh round.
What next for Pacquiao, then?
Seems harsh to suggest in the immediate aftermath of such a scintillating performance – his first knockout victory since 2009 – but retirement does seem to be a genuine option for the Filipino with the huge money making fights seemingly few and far between and with increasingly more risk to the ageing eight-weight world champion.
The legacy of Pacquiao is solidified with the defining moment seeming to always be characterised by his series of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez so there’s no real need for the legendary fighter to carry on and risk becoming a Roy Jones Jr figure – albeit at a higher level and not against guys such as Bobby Gunn, Rodney Moore and that respective ilk.
It’s not as though the 39 year old is without other options, boxing is very much a secondary focus as things stand in Pacquiao’s life with his priority being politics – elected as a senator in his home country, Pacquiao has a minimum term until 2022 which, in itself, makes preparing and organising fights relatively difficult.
And let’s be clear this was probably Pacquiao’s best performance in six or seven years and there will always be the eternal question regarding his age and stamina – he proved his doubters wrong on Saturday but as we saw against Horn there is a distinct blueprint for beating Pacquiao and he’s ripe for the taking – so what better a night than to call it quits, retire as a world champion with plaudits aplenty.
On the distinct polar opposite vein you could argue that because Pacquiao looked so good that in itself is all you need to back-up a call for him to continue – whether that’s papering up the cracks or not is something we’ll find out as and when future bouts happen – and an immediate fight that springs to mind is Amir Khan.
Big in the States and big in the United Kingdom, Amir Khan is of an ideal profile for a mega fight with mega dollars to boot – it could also see Pacquiao in the United Kingdom for the first time though such is the statue of the guy we’d likely only see him for a press conference over here as opposed to the actual bout.
Let’s not forget that the pair were scheduled to fight on April 23rd last year in the United Arab Emirates before the bout was called off but the desire to see the two meet in the ring has not dampened and if anything the flame has only burned brighter since Khan’s successful comeback.
For Khan, who has more options than Kell Brook, this is a perfect opportunity to return to the world title scene and, in all honesty, it’s possibly the easiest champion he’d have to face in the division which is saying quite something.
Amir has been there, too, he’s no stranger to these big fights and even though he lost, viciously, to Canelo, he put up a really good showing and there’s no doubt that against Pacquiao we could witness a tremendous, 50-50 fight with styles meshing.
From that knockout loss to Canelo, mind, Pacquiao will be able to take immense confidence especially off the back of such a convincing beat-down of Lucas Matthysse. Couple in the notorious “glass chin” that Khan is often accused of having, the risk for Pacquiao would be relatively big but the reward would be phenomenal – Khan is possibly one of the biggest names that the Filipino could face whilst still possessing the tag as favourite.
For me this is a fight that simply has to happen.
Dropping down a weight division to super lightweight there is the possibility of facing Vasyl Lomachenko in yet another HUGE fight – Lomachenko needs no introduction so I won’t bother giving him one but it’s fair to say that a fight of this magnitude would invoke memories of Pacman’s contest with Mayweather and supersede the sport of boxing in becoming a sheer event for the pubic, fans or not.
Loma is out until December at least following shoulder surgery and Pacquiao has hinted at wanting to drop back to super-lightweight for some time now so the build-up for the potential clash would no doubt capture the imagination of the boxing world.
A clash with Lomachenko is the only bout that could have a positive impact on how we look back on Pacquiao’s career in 10 years – any other opponents are merely extra icing on the already lavishly decorated cake that are his 23 years as a professional boxer – but the Ukrainian provides a test that is unlike any other, a living legend, a walking Hall-of-Famer, a fighter who is, frankly, a freak of nature.
Lomachenko would be the best opponent since Floyd Mayweather and there’s a reasonable argument to be made that he’d be the best opponent INCLUDING Floyd Mayweather, at least in retrospect, and would enter the fight as a favourite but if Pacquiao is determined to prove, once and for all, that he IS back then this is the sort of challenge he really needs to be looking at.
The question that gets raised when you talk about this fight – potentially held at catchweight – is whether Manny really looked that good against Matthysse or if he was simply the least washed up of the two boxers as whilst it was a very accomplished performance you’d be hard pushed to say the Matthysse that turned up was on his A game.
It’s a risk, yes, but is it a risk worth taking?
I’ve opted for Jeff Horn to fill this last section although I was tempted to select Terence Crawford instead but Horn gets the edge because there is history in that encounter, we all know what happened in Australia and this would be a perfect opportunity to silence his critics from that night and prove it was a fluke loss.
Over here in the United Kingdom endless repeats of their first fight were being shown on the broadcaster and, make no mistake, there wasn’t anything like the outrage shown in America with regards to the scoring but this is a fight that would sell, literally, to all four corners of the globe; you’ve got the Australian market who will be fervently routing for their home hero, the America’s backing Pacquiao and the Brit’s / European’s who love nothing more than a rematch with a bit of needle so in terms of marketability, this fight has it all.
Redemption is a factor that can never be over-stated because looking back on his career, Pacquiao is not a man who will be satisfied with a perceived injustice if there was a possibility to put such a situation to bed and we’ve seen immediately after their contest in February last year that Pacquiao wanted the rematch so his self-belief is there.
Horn, himself, is looking for an avenue back to the big time after getting soundly beaten by Crawford and the fight against Pacquiao is the instant avenue to go down because, for him, if he can pull of the “miracle” a second time then who can doubt him, immediately goes away all the criticism from their first encounter.
A snagging point in this whole deal is the style of Horn, it’s not exactly conducive to a performance that will knock your socks off because even if Pacquiao is able to control every second of every round, he’s going to emerge with a bruised and bloodied face such is the aggressive nature of the Australian – the less sound about his leading head, the better – so whilst emotionally and sentimentally the fight may be seen as a win, stylistically and in terms of future stock, it’s hard to see Pacquiao emerge looking any sharper than the fight at the weekend.
Time after time we’ve sat here and idolised about what could be next for such an icon of the sport and time after time he’s delivered the complete unexpected, the only thing we can ever take for granted with Manny Pacquiao is that he will never duck an opponent and he will always bring his all to a fight.
What more could you ask for from an all-time great? Wherever he goes next, even if he doesn’t fight again, let’s just take a minute to bask in his shadows because for now, at least, this warrior is taking a one-man stand against the surge of young pretenders and, boy, is he holding his own when everyone and their dog seems to be writing him off.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn
By: Gary Todd
In boxing actions speak louder than words. Once again, this was the case on Saturday night in Las Vegas, when Terence Crawford [ 33 -0 ] out classed, out boxed, out muscled, and took the Australian school teacher, back to school, with a dazzling display of skill, speed, and power, and dominance , that made the WBO champion look like a boxing novice.
It was always going to be a real challenge for the Australian scrapper and this was apparent from the opening bell. Crawford was so dominant, from the 3rd round onwards, using his fast hands, and feet, ducking, weaving, switching , and exploding on to Horn, that left the champion with no answer, and it was clear from there, that we would have a new champion at welterweight.
Every trainer, and promoter talks up their fighter, but I have to say , the talk from Jeff Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton , and promoter, Dean Lonergan were nothing more than absolute nonsense. I’m all for supporting, and boosting, even inspiring your fighter, and push him to be the best fighter he can be , but there is a limit to what you can tell him, to what the fighter knows already. Jeff Horn knows what he can do . Every man has their limitations.
Comments from Rushton, like, “ I don’t want you to be a champion, I want you to be a legend “ Like I said, every man has their limitations. Horn’s promoter, Lonergan, a former rugby player for New Zealand, has said many things, before the fight, but his comments after the fight showed that this guy knows nothing about boxing, with his comments like, “ the fight was stopped too early, as Jeff would have come back , and who knows what would have happened in the 10th, 11th or 12th round” Lonergan is a fool. We all know what would have happened, had the referee , Robert Byrd, not stepped in to save Horn . There was still over 2 minutes to go in round 9 . Both Rushton and Lonergan talked way too much and are both delusional. Horn didn’t win a single round, never looked like troubling Crawford , and was out on his feet before the stoppage. Rushton is not too far behind Lonergan with comments like “ the stoppage was too quick. He got hurt more against Manny Pacquiao, and many of the rounds were very close” The guy knows nothing about boxing, or is delusional.
Jeff Horn had been elevated up the welterweight ladder , fighting hand picked guys in Australia, like Randall Bailey, Rico Mueller, and Ali Funeka, to win and get the chance of glory , and a crack at Manny Pacquiao’s WBO world title. Horn showed tremendous heart in a tough hard fight, and overcame the 9th round, to fight back , after the referee had told him that he thought he had taken enough punishment. Horn fought on, and won a very controversial result in his hometown of Brisbane. I have watched the fight 5 times, and Pacquiao was hard done by not to keep his belt.
As Jeff Horn sat there with ice packs to his eyes, and his ear, and his wife nursing, and consoling him, there was already talk of a rematch by Lonergan, and Rushton. For these two fools, I will explain, a rematch is when a fight is so good, and thrilling for the fans, or it’s so close, and there is merit for the 2 fighters to get another chance of a clear victory. Gatti v Ward, Corrales v Castillo, Ali v Frazier, Holyfield v Bowe, Leonard v Hearns, and Marquez v Vasquez.
Horn v Crawford should not be included . This fight was so one sided, that it put Horn back so far , that I hope he retires from the sport, or he will get damaged.
Where does he go from here? I will say Horn will come back, and his team of Lonergan and Rushton will try and find their fighter an opponent that will assure him a win , just to get him back in the mix. The only problem with that is, who does he fight after that? Any of the top contenders, or world champions, Errol Spence Jnr, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter, will beat Jeff Horn.
This was Horn’s first fight outside Australia, and he will be remembered for two things, which is losing badly to Crawford, and getting a hometown gift against Pacquiao. Fighting in America, at a world championship level, would be a challenge for him and his team. If Pacquiao gets past Lucas Matthysse in a couple of weeks, maybe Manny wants the rematch ? Horn failed on first attempt to make the championship weight, and there was more talk from his camp that he struggles to make 147, and he might move up. At 30 years of age, and not the fastest boxer at welterweight, moving up would be a mistake . Horn would be facing a long list of good fighters, in a very strong division, with champions like, Jamie Munguia, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo.
Actions do speak louder than words, but in this case, the writing is on the wall.
Gary Todd is the proud author of his books on world champions and their workouts, “Workouts From Boxings Greatest Champs, volumes 1 and 2. “ he has been involved in all aspects in the sport of boxing for over 30 years .
ESPN+ Results: Crawford Wipes Out Horn
By: Sean Crose
The Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford card on ESPN+ began at 9:30 PM Eastern Standard Time live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night as the 23-1-0 Jose Pedraza faced the 23-2 Antonio Moran for the WBO Latino Lightweight Title. The first few rounds of the bout made for an exciting, see-saw affair, as both men fought energetically and with aggresion. Yet Moran got his nose busted, a war wound that got to look quite ugly as the fight wore on.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
There ended up being no stoppage. There wasn’t a knockdown to be found throughout the bout, either. It proved to be an entertaining match, though. Moran never gave up. Pedraza was simply stronger and was able to put his puches together better. Ultimately, Pedraza also proved to be the more energetic fighter as the bout wore on. The Puerto Rican ended up with the unanimous decision win and WBO Latino Lightweight Strap.
It was time for the main event. The 32-0 Crawford stepped into the ring favored to beat the 18-0-1 Horn, even though Horn was the WBO World Welterweight Champion and had won that title by besting the great Manny Pacquiao – albeit by a highly controversial decision. For Crawford entered the weekend widely regarded as one of the best practitioners in the entire sport. He might have been moving up in weight to face Horn, but it was Crawford who boxing’s writers and analysts expected to walk away with the victory.
Crawford tagged his man early in the first. Yet Horn tagged Crawford clean a moment later. Crawford, however, landed the cleaner, more effective punches throughout. Crawford landed a hard left to the body in the second and then started to pick up the pace. Horn, however, was tough and kept moving forward. Crawford began the third landing clean, though Horn was able to land clean himself. Crawford, however, was landing the better shots more frequently. The man from Nebraska was really starting to go to work.
Horn kept being a warrior in the fourth, but it appeared that he was being outclassed as the first third of the bout ended. The man did, however, have a good moment in the fifth, when he got Crawford against the ropes. Horn tried to play rough and got a warning from referee Robert Byrd. Crawford then physically rough housed Horn. It had become a one sided affair. By the midway point of the fight, Crawford was continuing to beat his man up.
One thing had to be said for Horn – the man was as rough and as brave as they came. At no point through the first seven rounds (which must have been gruelling for the man) did the champion give up or cease to fight with incredible heart. It simply didn’t matter, though. Crawford was simply far too skilled. And still, Horn kept fighting on, trying to land, trying to muscle his man around. It was to little avail. Crawford kept dominating.
Crawford exploded late in the eighth, causing his man to stumble. In fact, Horn came very close to hitting the canvas. The brutality continued through the ninth – where Horn finally went down. The champion got back up, but Crawford went right back to work and referee Robert Byrd steped in and stopped the fight.
Is Jeff Horn Really a Paper Champ?
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
American boxing fans are yet to embrace Jeff Horn, mainly because they feel that he was gifted a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquaio.
ESPN commentator, Teddy Atlas, nearly lost his mind when Horn’s hand was raised in Brisbane, arguing that he had been rewarded “for trying hard” despite Pacquaio landing “the cleaner punches”. He was so incensed that he even asked Horn himself if he believed that the judges had made the right decision.
Most of his colleagues at ESPN shared his disgust, but former world champion Timothy Bradley thought the fight was a lot closer than Atlas’ 116-111 scorecard suggested.
It’s worth noting that both Atlas and co-analyst Stephen A Smith gave Horn absolutely no chance of de-throning Pacquaio in the pre-fight build-up. In fact, they were borderline disrespectful.
“I’ve got to admit, I don’t have much on this dude,” Smith stated.
Surely that’s a key part of his job as a boxing analyst?
After admitting that he hadn’t done any background research on Horn, he then questioned whether he even deserved a title shot.
Smith scoffed at Horn’s previous opponents, declaring that they “give new meaning to the term no-names. I mean, come on, we don’t know these people.”
Perhaps someone should have informed him that two of the fighters he listed- Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka- were former world champions.
In fact, Bailey was a two-weight world champion. Not bad for a no-name.
Were these fighters past their prime when they faced Horn? Yes. Had Horn faced particularly stiff opposition up to this point? No.
But they might have mentioned that he only had 16 professional fights under his belt.
Their ringside coverage followed a similar trend. Even when Horn had his moments, the ESPN commentators barely acknowledged them. Atlas was particularly dismissive, arguing that Horn wasn’t really landing anything when he had Pacquaio on the back foot. In contrast, he erupted when Pacquaio landed even glancing blows.
It’s fair to say that the coverage was biased. Horn did a hell of a lot better than expected and Pacquaio looked genuinely puzzled by his awkward style. How could that happen? Just an hour earlier, we were told that this fight was a joke.
It seems a little convenient that the same pundits who sneered at his chances prior to the fight described it as a robbery in the aftermath.
Perhaps they were trying to save face? After all, running with the robbery narrative meant they wouldn’t have to address their complete under-estimation of Horn. This way they could argue that they were right about Horn, it’s just that the judges were so corrupt.
In order to objectively assess the fight, we need to turn to other experts. The CompuBox punch stats don’t do Horn any favours. They show that Pacquaio landed 182 punches to Horn’s 92.
However, if you browse through the scorecards of various boxing writers and analysts, you will find that a number of them thought Horn was a deserved winner.
Britain’s foremost boxing writer, Steve Bunce, scored the bout 115-113 in favour of Horn and said “at the final bell Pacquiao looked like a beaten man and he was… Horn deserved his win, Pacquiao looked utterly dreadful for six rounds and hopefully the Australian will get the recognition he deserves — after everybody stops screaming hysterics about a robbery.”
Boxing Monthly’s Andrew Harrison said Horn won 116-113, while Sherdog’s Gary Randall (116-112) and Mike Fridley (115-112) said he won comfortably.
Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan and Tom Gray of Ring magazine also felt Horn won the fight by a “wide” margin.
Even popular sports personality and die-hard Pacquaio fan, Skip Bayliss, gave the fight to Horn 115-113.
Then there were those who thought it was a draw. Quite a few, as it turns out.
– Brian Campbell- 114-114
– Brian Mazique- 114-114
– Bob Sheridan- 114-114
– Eric Raskin- 114-114
– Graham Houston- 114-114
It has to be said that the majority of the experts believed Pacquaio won the fight, some by a significant margin:
– Behind the Gloves 117-110
– Ryan Phillips 116-110
– Mike Sloan 116-111
– Dan Rafael 117-111
But many felt it was extremely close.
Kevin Iole scored the fight 115-113 in Pacquaio’s favour, but said “it was a 7-5 fight either way… you can’t complain about the [judges’] call.”
He wasn’t alone. Look how many boxing aficianados felt Pacquaio won by two rounds or less:
– Bad Left Hook, 115-113 Pacquaio
– Doug Fischer- 115-113 Pacquaio
– Boxing News- 115-113- Pacquaio
– Nigel Collins- 114-113 Pacquaio
– Gareth Davies- 115-113 Pacquaio
– Marcos Villegas- Pacquaio 114-113
With so many scores like the above, can we really call Pacquaio vs Horn a robbery? As Iole puts it, fights that only have a couple of rounds in them could really go either way. Especially when almost every round was so competitive.
Given how close it was, two of the ringside judges’ scorecards of 115-113 (Horn) are justifiable.
The majority of the experts think Pacquiao did enough to win the fight, but it could also be argued that he didn’t do enough to ensure victory.
Whether you think Horn won or not, the decision could hardly be described as daylight robbery and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be labelled a paper champ.
Are We Underestimating Jeff Horn Again?
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Few pundits are giving WBO Welterweight champion Jeff Horn a chance against the highly-rated Terence Crawford. There’s no doubt the gritty Aussie has a tough fight ahead of him, but should we really be counting him out?
His fighting style may not be easy on the eye, but Horn is no pushover. Just ask Manny Pacquaio.
Whether you agreed with the judges’ decision or not, no one can deny that the unheralded Aussie gave Pacquaio a much tougher fight than expected.
“The Hornet’s” unorthodox movement and his ability to throw punches from unusual angles made him an extremely awkward opponent.
It was widely predicted that the Filipino’s speed, power and relentless flurries would overwhelm Horn. In fact, several experts predicted that he’d be lucky to make it out of the first round.
“Pacman” landed plenty of punches, but it wasn’t the dominant performance we anticipated. We’ve seen him completely overpower some of the best fighters of his generation, but he landed surprisingly few power shots, often settling for glancing one-punch counters.
Against Horn, he looked slow and surprisingly reluctant to let his hands go. Many blamed father time, highlighting that Pacquaio is every bit of 38 years of age, sustaining a lot of damage throughout a lengthy career.
It’s hard to argue with that, but Horn also deserves a lot of credit for Pacquaio’s underwhelming performance.
It wasn’t just that Pacquaio has lost some speed, power and stamina. Horn made the legendary fighter look average at times by nullifying some of his biggest weapons.
Pacquaio found it difficult to deal with Horn’s size and reach advantage. The Aussie kept him at range extremely well, punishing the Filipino when he burst forward with some solid shots from unexpected angles.
Pacquaio looked confused, frustrated and genuinely surprised by Horn’s ability, speed and composure.
Horn isn’t renowned as a big puncher, but his power also helped him to keep Pacquaio at bay. How many times have we seen the Filipino stand toe to toe with his opponents, daring them to hit him because he knew that he would come out on top in most of the exchanges.
The final punch statistics certainly favoured Pacquaio, but Horn landed some telling blows that backed him up and gave him something to think about. His relatively cautious tactics throughout the fight show that he respected the Aussie’s strength and power.
Pacquaio’s hesitation also demonstrates Horn’s deceptive speed. He might not look particularly quick, but his reactions were impressive and he caught Pacquaio where other fighters have failed to in the past.
He roughed Pacquaio up too. Critics will tell you that Horn fought dirty and they may have a point. But the head clashes did not appear to be intentional. These things happen in fights and it’s unlikely that there would have been such an outcry if Pacquaio used similar tactics. Horn did what he had to.
When Pacquaio did manage to work his way inside, Horn used his physical advantages to great effect- smothering him, leaning on him and making him feel every bit of his weight.
Few fighters in the world can box their opponents effectively from range and close quarters. Most fighters favour one approach over the other. Horn managed to do both against an all-time great.
People have criticised his style, but any fighter that can pull this off is extremely skilled.
All of these things are well and good, but we have to acknowledge that Horn was almost stopped in the 9th round. If an older Pacquaio almost finished him, he surely has no chance against Crawford, right?
Maybe. But anyone who can absorb such a vicious attack from Pacquaio is clearly a tough nut to crack. How many people have taken that many shots from Pacquaio and stayed on their feet?
Sure, Pacman’s lost some of his legendary power, but he still had enough to floor two world class fighters in his previous fights- Jesse Vargas and Timothy Bradley.
Horn didn’t just take that punishment and survive. He won the last few rounds. It’s clearly going to take something special to put him away.
Let’s also not forget that Horn came to boxing late (aged 16). With just 19 fights under his belt, he is still relatively inexperienced and has shown improvement in every fight. He will only get better.
Look at the other world champions in Horn’s division. How many of them fought someone of Pacquiao’s calibre in just their 18th professional fight? None.
– Keith Thurman became interim WBA champion with a win over Diego Chaves in his 22nd fight.
– Errol Spence beat Kell Brook to become the IBF champion in his 22nd fight.
– Lucas Matthysse took a whopping 35 fights to become the WBC champion, defeating Mike Dallas Jr.
Even Crawford became the WBO Lightweight Champion in his 23rd fight, a unanimous decision against Ricky Burns.
Did Horn lose to Pacquaio? Possibly. But many experts felt it was a lot closer than Teddy Atlas’ scorecard. Plenty also felt that the Hornet did enough to get his hand raised.
Don’t let the robbery narrative fool you, the man can fight. Expect to see an even better version of Horn this weekend.
Many people feel Crawford is taking an easy path to a world title by facing Horn, but he may not have it all his own way.
If you think Horn’s an easy fight, you haven’t been paying attention. Crawford will need to be at his best to put him away.
Regardless of the result, Horn deserves far more respect than he has received thus far.
ESPN Media Conference Recap with Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley
This afternoon, ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley discussed the June 9 super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford vs. Horn and José Pedraza vs. Antonio Moran will stream live exclusively on ESPN+ (in the United States) this Saturday, June 9 beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
The entire undercard, including Shakur Stevenson, Steve Nelson, Jose Benavidez, and Gabe Flores Jr. will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 pm. PT.
For more details on ESPN+’s coverage for the Crawdford vs. Horn fight, click here.
Below is the transcript from the call.
THE MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining our conference call with ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel, and Tim Bradley to discuss this Saturday’s super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford and Horn will battle for the WBO Welterweight World Title streamed live on ESPN+ in the United States along with the entire undercard, which includes Jose Pedraza, Antonio Moran beginning at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. Following will be Shakur Stevenson, Aelio Mesquita, Jose Benavidez, Frank Rojas, and other undercard bouts beginning at — on ESPN starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN+. With that, I’ll go ahead and open it up for questions.
Q. Tim, (indiscernible) how do you think it will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: How do I think the fight will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: What’s that the question? How I think the main event’s going to pan out?
Q. The main event, yeah.
TIM BRADLEY: Yeah, how do I see the fight. Yeah, I’m trying to understand. I’m waiting on a response. But anyway, how do I see the fight going? Well, I see the fight starting off kind of rough, honestly. I think Horn, being a bigger guy, likes to move in quick, likes to get inside early, likes to work the pace and dictate the pace.
I think he’s going to try to close the gap on Terence really early and show him that, hey, this is a different weight class, this isn’t 140 pounds now, this is a different weight class and different type of weight. I think he’s going to try to push Terence back. Honestly, I think he is.
I think Terence is going to struggle in the beginning only until he finds his rhythm. Once Terence finds his rhythm, meaning Horn’s rhythm, then I think things will open up and Terence can control the distance from the outside and time Horn as he comes in.
At the end of the match, I think it’s going to be Terence Crawford with his hands raised. I think that Horn will put up a good fight, but I think Terence Crawford has too much precision, too much boxing IQ. He’s a great counterpuncher. He can punch in between shots. There are just so many dimensions to him as opposed to a guy like Jeff Horn.
Q. (Indiscernible) were you impressed with him?
JOE TESSITORE: I was. I’ll tell you, Timmy and I were down there ringside in Australia. My big takeaway with Jeff Horn — and then Mark and I had the pleasure of calling his title defense in December as well, but my big takeaway of being with him in person in Australia, covering his title fight in December is that this is a very sturdy, rugged, mauling kind of guy who is going to put forth a physical presence.
He is going to always try to do things on his terms. I completely agree with the champ’s assessment as to what this fight is going to look like early.
I will add on that although I think it’s easy to fall in line with the camp of saying Terence Crawford, too much skill, too much boxing IQ, too much raw athleticism, and elite status; that this is a guy in Jeff Horn who is very, very tricky and makes a fight out of a fight.
When we were there ringside, and I know for those who watched back in the States, they felt a certain way about the outcome of that fight last summer, we didn’t have the same feeling sitting there ringside. We saw a mauling, physically imposing, very big welterweight who I almost questioned how he possibly gets to 147 pounds. And because of that, I think this is a fascinating fight, first and foremost. Because when I look at the records next to the two names, I see two zeros in the loss column.
MARK KRIEGEL: We said much the same a year ago about Horn versus Pacquiao. I think that in terms of the disparity of size, experience, skill level — experience and skill level, that at the end of the day I think that it was Horn who made us aware that Manny was coming up against the limits of his size and his age.
All that being said, in regard to Tim’s point, and I’ve watched Crawford now spar with big guys, 178-pounders, I think that once he does find his rhythm and the timing, the punch that will cause the great damage to Horn will be the right hook. Almost like a check hook when he’s on his way in. But that’s the one shot that I’ve seen him sparring bigger guys with.
Q. In regards to Jeff Horn, do you think that Terence Crawford fight is going to be a tougher fight than the Pacquiao fight?
JOE TESSITORE: Yes, is this fight going to be tougher than Pacquiao is the question?
TIM BRADLEY: For Horn? I agree. I believe that this fight will be a tougher fight than Manny Pacquiao because there is so much more dimensions to Terence Crawford than to Manny Pacquiao. You know what you’re going to get when you fight a guy like Manny Pacquiao. He’s coming to get you. Terence, on the other hand, is multi-dimensional. So he can make adjustments on the fly without his corner even telling him to make adjustments.
I’ve had the opportunity to have two training camps with Terence Crawford before Terence Crawford became — before anybody knew who he was. One of the things that I took from him during that training camp was that this is a kid that flew down here by himself to my hometown, came (indiscernible) without a coach, without a trainer, getting fed a little bit of information about myself, gets in the ring, basically puts on a show. Beats me up in front of my own people — beats me up, comes back the next day.
I come back with a plan. He comes back and completely — he comes back and he’s a completely different fighter than he was the day before. And he kept making adjustments, and he kept making adjustments on the fly.
So this guy, Terence Crawford, is going to be tough, a tougher fight, in my opinion, than Manny Pacquiao.
MARK KRIEGEL: Another thing to bear in mind is that Pacquiao has seen better days. He’s not — he’s at the far end of his prime, and Crawford is just entering his. I don’t think we’ve seen close to what the best Terence Crawford we can get.
JOE TESSITORE: I don’t think it’s even close. I think Pacquiao in so many ways was the perfect storm for Jeff Horn with everything timing up just right, and that is not the case here in coming to the Vegas fight with Crawford. It doesn’t mean in any way I’m dismissing Jeff Horn as a live dog here, as much as I understand that this is the biggest mountain that he could possibly be asked to climb compared to what he just did last July.
TIM BRADLEY: I mean, completely two different styles. I’ll give Horn the benefit of the doubt, because what he was able to do Against Manny Pacquiao, I haven’t seen anybody be able to dominate him and bully him the way he did. And when I say dominate, I just mean in the physical form. You know, he pushed him back. He was grinding there, and he was very dirty at times. He had Pacquiao’s back against the ropes and he was working him.
I haven’t seen that — a guy do that Against Manny Pacquiao at all, and he was able to do that. With that being said, this is a completely different guy. Styles make fights. Terence can fight from the forward and backing up. Terence can switch left-handed and he can go right-handed. He can knock you out with his left hand and his right hand. This is a kid that can make adjustments on the fly. He has a high IQ. If you watch the replay with him and Indongo, you will see Terence punch in between punches.
If Horn comes rushing in with wide shots, I’ve sparred him, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for Horn. It’s danger. That’s all I’m going to say.
Q. Tim, if he does pull the upset, what’s that mean for Jeff Horn? Does he go down as one of the greatest fighters in the world right now?
TIM BRADLEY: If he beats Terence Crawford would he go down as the greatest fighter in the world? I don’t know. He’ll be a top guy, yeah, absolutely. He’d be top three. Top three or four, top five. I know he’d be pound-for-pound then, absolutely. Because in order to be pound-for-pound, you’ve got to beat a great fighter.
Terence Crawford, however you put him, number one, number three, he’s in the top five pound-for-pound in the world. If you beat a top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, guess what? You’re top pound-for-pound now.
JOE TESSITORE: I didn’t get the name of the journeyman writer who just asked that question there, and we appreciate that question, because I think it exposes one of the deep veins that runs through this fight. That is that the Jeff Horn side still looking for and demanding respect, especially stateside. This is an undefeated, welterweight champion at the end of the day who conquered a living legend, defended his title, and now has a willingness to come to America and take on our best pound-for-pound fighter.
That’s what Terence Crawford is. He is American-born, best pound-for-pound fighter, where you have Vasyl Lomachenko number one, as our network does, or whether you go with a guy that’s now a three-time Fighter of the Year between ESPN and the Boxing Writers of America in Terence Crawford.
If Jeff Horn wins this fight, you know the thing that matters most in this sport? Results. He would have had two signature wins, including a victory over arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So, yes, he would be — he would have that respect, and he would be thought of in that way. Even though there will be critics that look at him and see commonplace, ordinary, straightforward, thudding, bullying, not prettiest, not the most athletic, he would be that because the results deem him that.
So, yes, he wins this weekend, that’s what we will say of him and that’s what he will be.
Q. Bradley, I followed your career for a very long time. Thought you had a very wonderful career as a boxer and now commentator. In terms of for Jeff Horn, you know, you’ve kind of been in a similar situation with Manny Pacquiao how you had to prove that you belonged in the ring with him. Obviously you got that win in the first one and obviously had to prove that again with the next fight. Do you feel that Jeff Horn is going to be in a similar position even though he’s the champ, he’s going to have to show that he deserves respect? Because a lot of people thought that first Manny Pacquiao fight was controversial. Do you feel that he is in the same situation as you?
TIM BRADLEY: Absolutely. He’s in the same situation as I was similar. A lot of people felt that I didn’t win the first fight against Pacquiao, but I felt I did win the fight and everyone around me thought I won the fight.
But at the same time, Jeff Horn, he’s pretty new to me, in my opinion, to America. You know what I mean? Very known in Australia and everything and what he’s done by beating Manny Pacquiao, but he still has a lot to prove. He’s taken his step up fighting against like Tess said, the best American, number one, pound-for-pound in the game.
Now, he beats a guy like Terence Crawford, I mean, you know, this is a guy that needs to be respected. So, yes, he still needs to gain everyone’s respect by him coming to America to defend his title in Las Vegas, it shows you that he wants to be great. It shows you that he’s willing to take that challenge and that step up and wanting to be great.
So, absolutely. He needs to continue to prove himself. Just one fight doesn’t justify your career. It’s all the other fights in between as well. It’s the fight after he won the championship Against Manny Pacquiao, you know? It’s the next fight after this one, you know what I mean? That’s what defines your career. Not one fight.
MARK KRIEGEL: If Horn takes it as personally as Tim did, the lack of respect he got from beating Pacquiao, we’re in for a hell of a fight. If you look at how Tim reacts and how personal and the desperation with which he came out, not from winning but from not getting his respect, if Horn brings something like that, we’re in for a hell of a night.
JOE TESSITORE: I think there’s something also interesting with this fight in that we keep talking about how Jeff Horn wants to get the respect here stateside because of how the outcome was viewed by American fight fans. But let me tell you something about Jeff Horn, and we’re seeing it true already early on this week with now the promotion of this fight here in the U.S., as, Mark, I’m thrilled to see your feature piece, excellent feature pieces, leading off ESPN.com, and I’m sure will be read by so many mainstream sports fans, not just the endemic boxing fan. It’s an excellent piece I would recommend, especially our Australian friends, to get your hands on on ESPN.com, Mark Kriegel’s feature piece on Bud Crawford. But Jeff Horn, as much as he has not earned the respect of American fight fans, they are very aware of him. He’s notable. In fact, you could make a strong argument that more mainstream sports fans, non-boxing fans know exactly who Jeff Horn is than know many of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, including American fighters like Errol Spence or Keith Thurman.
Because last year when he fought on Saturday night and the shift in the business of boxing, the paradigm shift happened, and that fight was on ESPN pre-TV compared to being stuck in the corner of Pay-Per-View the way it normally would be for a decade and a half of Manny Pacquiao, so many mainstream sports fans experienced Jeff Horn’s Rocky Balboa moment.
So there was buzz. All you have to say to somebody now is, hey, Jeff Horn, the guy who beat Pacquiao last summer is fighting Bud Crawford, they know instantly who Jeff Horn is. Respect, different story. Awareness, very high.
Terence Crawford: “I’m Going To Beat The Man Who Beat Pacquiao”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m just sitting back,” Terence Crawford said during a Tuesday conference call, “waiting for my moment come Saturday.” This weekend, of course, is when Crawford will face Jeff Horn in Las Vegas for Horn’s WBO welterweight title. “I’m more relaxed and focused than anything,” Crawford said. That doesn’t mean Crawford doesn’t have a point to prove. Horn’s camp has done its part to poke a stick in a hornets’ nest in the leadup to the match. “I’m just tired,” Crawford claimed, “of hearing their little excuses on gloves, on the referee…I’m just ready to go out there and shut them up.”
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Horn’s team has made it clear that they want their man to be able to engage in a rough type of fighting many would consider dirty. “I just laugh at it,” Crawford said of team Horn’s statements. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the type of tactics he uses in the ring.” Did this mean Crawford was willing to fight fire with fire? “He’ll find out,” said Crawford, in reference to Horn. Part of Crawford’s confidence clearly stems from the fact that he’s been willing to learn from his mistakes. For instance, the man made it clear Tuesday that he could have been better mentally prepared for former opponent Yuriorkis Gamboa. “I was a little arrogant in that fight,” Crawford said, “and he made me respect it.”
For this fight, however, Crawford isn’t going to let himself underestimate his foe. “Preparation’s been A1,” Crawford said on the call. “We had a tough training camp. We didn’t take any shortcuts.” I asked the fighter if his camps have been easier now that he’s been steadily moving up in weight. “It’s always the same,” he replied. “Camp ain’t always easy …if camp is easy, your trainer’s doing something wrong…camp should never be easy.” Crawford also made it clear that Saturday’s bout is particularly important to him. Horn, after all, won his title (albeit controversially) against the great Manny Pacquiao.
“It means a lot,” Crawford said of Saturday. “I’m going to beat the man who beat Pacquiao.”
Horn, of course, has other ideas. “I’ve been working very hard in the preparation for this fight,” the Australian said during his portion of the call, adding that he was now “starting to taper down for the fight” itself. Saturday will be Horn’s first fight in America, something that some may consider a surprise, considering Horn’s level of competition this weekend. “The money was right,” Horn said simply of the decision to fight stateside. “We were always thinking we were going to America anyway.” I asked the WBO champion if he was prepared for the famed adjustments Crawford is known to make in the ring. Horn replied that he was planning on spending the match staying one step ahead of his foe. “I’m hoping he can’t figure me out throughout this whole fight,” he added. “That’s the plan, to keep changing things up.” Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, expressed his wish that team Horn be allowed to engage in the kind of fight they want to. “We’d like to see the fight flow freely,” the corner man said.
Promoter Bob Arum made it clear early on in the call that Horn was coming to win. “He’s not coming to just make an appearance,” he said to reporters.
Three Possible Outcomes for the Horn vs Crawford Welterweight Showdown
By Eric Lunger
On paper, this June 9th clash from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is a good fight. Jeff Horn is a confident and undefeated world champion making his second title defense. Confounding all doubters, he dethroned the fearsome hall-of-fame legend Manny Pacquiao in July of last year by resolutely sticking to his blue-collar game plan. Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is bulldog tough and has never been stopped.
Terence “Bud” Crawford is a two-division world champion with an impressive professional resume, and he is looking to win a third championship in the always fascinating welterweight division. Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) is a formidable talent who moves brilliantly, lands punches accurately from all angles, and is as crafty and smart as they come.
Despite the matchup on paper, however, Jeff Horn has a big – perhaps impossible – bridge to cross. Here, in decreasing likelihood, are three scenarios for the fight, as I see it.
First, Crawford simply outclasses the Australian champ, opens a cut and we have a TKO in the fourth or fifth round. In this scenario, Crawford takes one round to figure out his range and his opponent’s movement, then he starts to set his traps and lure Horn in, and Horn does like to be the aggressive pressure fighter. This will play into Crawford’s strengths, which are hand speed, accuracy, and overall ring savvy. Once he has Horn hurt or cut, Crawford’s killer instinct will end the bout. Or, Horn will walk into something, à la Julius Indongo in Crawford’s last outing.
In our second scenario, Crawford wins on points by boxing from range, switching hands, and overall technical proficiency. The looping punches and hay-makers that Horn threw in the Corcoran fight will not be productive. Crawford is too slick defensively to be caught like that, and he is quick to punish mistakes. Horn has never faced anyone with Crawford’s movement, especially his in-and-out distance control. Horn will spend the night trying to establish his inside game, but Crawford’s footwork won’t let him. If Crawford can land punches from range, he will score points and most likely goad the proud Australian into opening up.
Third and least likely, Horn uses his size to bully and muscle Crawford, making it an ugly, phonebooth fight. The WBO champ can be formidable when he bulls forward with his chin tucked to his chest and throws blind hooks. Horn can also be reckless with his head, to be put it politely. But Crawford is no rookie, and he won’t fight inside unless on his terms. Even in this scenario, I don’t see Horn winning on points in front of a panel of American judges. He is going to have to do something special to break down and defeat a fighter of Terrence Crawford’s caliber. Unfortunately for Horn, the man from Omaha, Nebraska, is bridge too far.
Which of these scenarios, if any, will come true? We will see next Saturday night, live on ESPN+. How do you see the fight turning out? Please leave your comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter (@lungee77).
Teddy Atlas Still Doesn’t Regret Telling Jeff Horn He “Lost” to Pacquaio
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Teddy Atlas will not be commentating Jeff Horn’s upcoming world title defence against Terrence Crawford if his team has its way, but the legendary analyst still doesn’t regret telling the Aussie star that he “lost” to Pacquaio in an awkward post-fight interview.
Atlas stands by his comments and told Fight Hub that it’s important that people with his influence in the sport speak out against unfair decisions.
“I believe when something’s wrong, somebody should say it’s wrong and not just let it go. I have a responsibility to say things that sometimes will cause people to get mad at me,” he says.
“If I truly, honestly believe it, from my judgement and my experience in the game of 40 years, I feel that I should do that,” says Atlas.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, said that Atlas is the primary reason that Americans view Horn’s upset victory over Pacquaio as a “robbery”.
Lonergan criticised Atlas’ “biased” commentary of the fight and said “I will do everything in my power to make sure Teddy Atlas is banned from the commentary team. And if that doesn’t work, I will lobby the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton not to allow Teddy Atlas through our border.”
Atlas says he is aware that Horn’s camp was furious with his comments, but feels it was important to be honest with the Queenslander rather than pretending that he agreed with the decision in their post-fight interview.
“I wanted to be consistent with what I feel and tell him. I didn’t want to say behind his back what I just said, that he lost, and then in front of him say hey buddy, you did great and I thought you won,” he says.
“I thought that’s phony and that’s not what I want to do. I know a lot of guys on tv and radio don’t do that, they destroy somebody and then they interview them face to face and say hey buddy you’re the best,” Atlas says.
He says his intention was to stand up for Pacquaio and denounce a poor decision by the judges rather than personally attack Horn.
In fact, Atlas was impressed with Horn’s performance even though he feels that Pacquaio landed the cleaner punches.
“Listen, Horn fought a tough, gritty, game, determined fight in front of his countrymen. There’s no way you can take anything away from that,” according to Atlas.
“I never denied that, I said he behaved like a champion and congratulations on behaving like a champion and fighting like one,” he says.
“But I wanted to do it graciously, like a gentleman and say I thought you lost. It’s not like I stomped him with it. It’s not like I was being mean-spirited about it or over the top, I just wanted to get out there what I had just said that he wasn’t privy to,” says Atlas.
Although Horn showed terrific heart and gave Pacquaio a much tougher fight than expected, Atlas says there’s no point in shying away from the fact that he felt he lost.
“Like I said, you don’t get credit just for throwing, you’ve got to land. Manny landed the cleaner punches in that fight. He should’ve got that fight,” he says.
Whether you think Horn won or not, Atlas says dodgy decisions have plagued boxing for decades and he feels that it his duty to call out incorrect decisions, corruption and incompetent judges.
“I thought it was just another injustice of scoring that we see too often in boxing. It just burns me, it really does. It’s like we get numb to it after a while and say ok that’s boxing,” he says.
“No it’s not ok, it’s wrong. Unfortunately we see a lot of wrong things in boxing sometimes. The sport is great, I love it. The administrators of the sport, sometimes they stink,” says Atlas.
Given his strong views on Horn’s famous victory, it’s no surprise that Atlas doesn’t see him beating the highly-rated Crawford on the 9th of June.
ESPN, meanwhile, has given no indication that it plans to remove Atlas from its commentary team for the fight.
Pedraza, Stevenson, Ready To Impress On Horn-Crawford Undercard
By: Sean Crose
“Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza is nearing a title shot,” a Top Rank press release declared on Tuesday, “while Shakur Stevenson is well on his way.” Both Top Rank fighters will now find themselves on the undercard of much anticipated WBO welterweight title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza will put his 23-1 record on the line by facing the 22-0 Antonio Moran. “I am excited because this will be my first fight in Las Vegas, which everyone knows is the fight capital of the world,” Pedraza claims. “I am determined to give a great performance…I know Moran is a good fighter and coming to upset my plans, but I have worked very hard to make sure that does not happen. I expect to be victorious on June 9 and will continue to show I am a force at lightweight.”
The WBO Latino Lightweight title will be at stake when Pedraza faces Moran on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The bout will be aired on ESPN+, along with the Crawford-Horn main event. As for Olympic star, Stevenson, the 6-0 New Jersey native will face the 16-1 Aelio Mesquita in an eight round affair in the featherweight division. “I’ve gotten the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden,” says Stevenson, “and now I’m ready for my Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand on June 9…there have been so many historic fights in that arena and now it’s my turn. It’s always fun to fight on Terence’s undercards. The Crawford family has adopted me, so I’m going to put on a great performance for them and everyone watching at MGM and on ESPN+.”
The 26-0 Jose Benavidez will also be battling that night as he faces the 22-0 Venezuelan Frank Rojas. Having won all but one of his fights by KO, the hard hitting Rojas will present quite a challenge for Benavidez when they meet in a 10 round welterweight affair. “I have 21 knockouts in 22 fights,” Rojas claims. “On June 9, I will add another knockout to my record…I’m coming for you, Benavidez! I’m 100 percent ready to give the fans a great fight. I hope you are ready because I’m going to knock you out. I’m going to rip his head off. Get ready.” As for Benavidez, he appears eager to face the challenge. “”I hope that Rojas trained hard and that he comes well prepared,” he says, “because I’m determined to stop him.”
“Rojas will not touch me at all,” Benavidez adds. “He will not rip my head off because I’m going to rip his head off first.”
Harvey Horn Eyes British Title
By: Oliver McManus
Looking across the array of fighters promoted by Frank Warren there are certain guys that catch the eye and Harvey Horn is certainly one of them – European Under 22 Champion, a British World Series of Boxing representative, in the amateur game now making strides at 2 and 0 as a professional boxer.
Fighting again on June 23rd, Horn looks to continue the momentum he’s built in his first year as a pro and has set his eyes firmly on the coveted British belt before pushing on for even greater honours.
With the odd peculiarity of being the only fighter to defeat both Patrik and Denis Bartos, a pair of brothers, Horn has intrigue across the board and outside of the ring he’s involved with a campaign called Isla’s Fight, supporting a young West Ham fan with a rare medical condition.
Last week I caught up with Chigwell’s finest to discuss everything from missing out on the Rio Olympics, going under the radar, titles, ambitions, regrets and, somehow, Anthony Yarde and Eddie Hearn;
We’re not far away from your fight on June 23rd, how’s training going?
Yeah it’s going well apart from at the weekend, I start sparring on Monday next week, and got some good sparring coming in. It’s just starting up really but I’m feeling good. I’ve put on a bit of weight since my last one so normally I walk around at flyweight but now I’ve put on a bit extra so when I do come down to the weight I’m coming down to it instead of walking around to it, so I’m a bit stronger.
Do you reckon we could see you at Super flyweight then, at some point?
Possibly, possibly, I’ll be honest, I could make light flyweight if I wanted to. Unless I had a drastic change, which I can’t see happening, I’m 22 now, I can’t see anything too drastically changing over the next couple of years but I’m aiming to go and get what I can at flyweight and if anything was there at light-fly, obviously you’ve got the world titles with a load of Thai’s, Filipino’s that have got those belts at light-fly, it would be nice to see if I can go and take one of them as well.
Like you said, you were ill over the weekend, was there ever a doubt in your mind as to fighting on June 23rd or was it just literally a couple days cold?
No, no, definitely not, it was just a little 24 hour bug. At the time of it going on, I knew I had five weeks, I’m only doing a four rounder for this one so it was never in my mind that I was going to call of the fight, no way.
Going back to when you did sign pro, at 22, was it always the aim to turn pro so early on or was it missing out on Rio (Olympics) that really pushed you to go for it?
I always said I was never going to turn pro without an Olympic medal but as I got on, on GB, I realised that just going to the Olympics itself is a massive bargaining chip when turning pro and to be an Olympian stands you out from the others.
But when that disappointment with Rio happened (Galal Yafai was selected ahead of Harvey), I couldn’t really stay up there anymore. It had done a bit of a number on me and I couldn’t stay, especially with Galal staying on, as well.
Especially because he’d been to the Olympics it would have been very, very hard to push him off that top-spot, no matter what I did.
When you’ve been to the Olympics there’s a bit of a buzz around you, do you think it’s kind of a bit unfair how you’ve gone relatively under the radar in comparison to your Buatsi’s, your Okolie’s?
It is a gutter because obviously I’ve been fighting with these boys, I’ve been to tournaments where, obviously Buatsi’s doing brilliant now but, at the European’s where he got a Bronze and I got a silver I’ve been tournaments where I’ve done better than him, where he’s done better than me, and obviously it doesn’t mean much now but I’ve learnt my trade with these boys and, don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy for them and they deserve it but I feel like my break should have been there as well and if I’d have been at the Olympics, it would have been.
It is a gutter but I don’t think it’s unfair because it’s how it is, I can’t point fingers and make excuses, it happened. But my time will come and if it’s not now, it just means it’s not the right time. And it wasn’t the right time.
You had loads of amateur pedigree anyway, you were a WSB competitor, does that make it easier to transition into the pro ranks?
Definitely, definitely, I mean them five rounder’s aren’t five rounder’s with journeyman, they’re five rounder’s with the world’s best. I mean I boxed some incredible countries, Mexico, I boxed the Olympic bronze medallist from America, Ukraine. I’ve had some really good fights with top class people.
And it stands you in good stead because if I can do the five rounds there then I know I can do the longer rounds. The longer the rounds, the better I’ll get, especially with my style as well. So that WSB it really gives us a big advantage going amateur to pro.
And are you one of the fighter’s then that the better opponent you get in the ring, the better you’ll look.
100%, when I’ve had people in front of me, I don’t know if it’s a concentration thing or if I dcrop down to their level but I’ve always boxed better when I’ve get better people in front of me. There’s not really been a time where I’ve had someone of quality in front of me and been beat but I’ve been plenty of times, well a handful of times, to people that were not on the same level as me and I just haven’t performed.
I don’t tend to get beat by people who are on the same level as me and have done what I’ve done but I won’t box brilliant or it’ll be a scrappy fight against those that haven’t but after this year’s done, I’ll jump in with the big names and start showing how good I really am.
Because you’re a European flyweight, there’s not many around, are you finding it hard to get opponents who will really bring the best out of you at this early stage?
At this stage probably , yeah , because with the flyweights the jump between domestic, well average, fighters and world class…
It’s a lot bigger.
Yeah there’s a big jump because there’s not really anything in the middle, you have domestic, European and World but there’s not much around. Straight to world at fly and light-fly you have all the Japanese, Thai’s and Filipino’s who are the world level fighters but you don’t really have anyone just under that level so it will be hard to match me when I get to there but hopefully it’ll mean the bigger fights come sooner.
If you did get a shot next year, year after, would you be willing to take it in their back garden or would you want in the UK?
Obviously I’d want in the UK, it would be nice, I have a good fan base following me and it’s only going to get bigger as I go on but don’t get me wrong, if the opportunity comes to Japan and Thailand I would do it straightaway.
Obviously if the money was alright as long as I’m not getting completely turned over with the money I would 100% go and do it because that zero to me it’s a massive thing, my 0, but I’m resigned to the fact that to be a bit of a great you can’t guard that 0 to cautiously and I see a lot of fighters doing that…
And if you looked back at your career and there were 3 losses but they were three really good opportunities, three really good fights, would you feel better than if you protected your 0 for your whole career?
Of course, I would definitely feel better because if I protected it and didn’t take those chances then I’d feel like I cheated myself and I cheated my talent, I wouldn’t feel like I’d explored everything I can do in the boxing game and I think if it took them losses to experience it all then so be it but obviously I’d love to keep my 0 but I’ll take those chances.
On that then your opinion on Anthony Yarde, he turned down the fight for the IBF World title because he felt he wasn’t ready…
I didn’t know that, I didn’t know that, who was it with?
Artur Beterbiev, I believe, Callum Johnson is now the mandatory because the top 10 have refused the fight…
Callum Johnson is the mandatory for the IBF? I don’t blame them (the top 10).
But do you think that’s wise from Yarde, obviously he didn’t have as much amateur experience as someone like yourself?
I think with Yarde, what’s he had 14 fights? The quality of opponent in front of him hasn’t been brilliant, not been brilliant at all and he has had no amateur career but what he’s doing to these opponents, even though they’re not great, he’s like a novice compared to some of these other fighters who have had 300, 400 amateur fights.
To do what he’s doing he has got talent and he is a talented fighter. I believe he will, when he gets tested, I feel like he will surprise a lot of people but turning that down was probably a smart move because that geezer’s a bit of an animal and 14 fights in, no amateur experience, not really been tested, doesn’t seem wise. I’d rather tick on for another year or so, start getting some real tests in and then go for it.
Talking of fighters is there a particular route you want to go down? British then European?
I’m getting the British, I’m 100% getting the British. I promised my Dad if ever I turned pro I’d get the British, I’d win it outright and I’d let him keep it. He’s always wanted it, it’s a nice belt in my opinion and it’s still very hard to win but I will win it outright. Even if I won the British and they turned around and said you’ve got a world title fight after this, I would probably turn it down and win the British outright.
Do you care who the opponent is or do you just want the belt?
I wouldn’t really care, I wouldn’t really care because at the minute, don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those fighters that says I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anyplace but I think, British level, the only person that really is a worry and he won’t be around domestic level for much longer is Andrew Selby and he’s not even domestic level. He’s the only one that I’d think “woah, I’ve got to be a bit careful here”.
Your first two opponents, going back, it’s a very random question but they both had the same surname (Bartos) and I’ve done some research and they’re the only two boxers with that surname, do you know if they’re related at all?
Yeah they’re brothers, they are brothers. The second one, the one who went four rounds, was the older one and they were doing each other’s corners as well.
You’re the only person to have beaten both of them!
Yeah, the second one funnily enough I think he was annoyed because of the first one so he had more motivation to try and restore some family honour or whatever… I’ve probably got the step dad on the 23rd!
You are part of Isla’s Fight, the young girl?
I’m a West Ham fan myself and I’ve seen it on social media, a couple of fighters – Mark Little – was doing a bit for her and I thought as a pro now I’m earning some money myself so I feel like everyone should do their bit.
I thought I’d start off just by trying to raise a bit of awareness and hopefully raise some money as well in the process.
Have you met her or is it just a case or raising awareness?
No, no, I haven’t. You see this is the thing, I was supposed to go to a charity football match the other day that they just had…
With Marlon Harewood and that…
Yeah that’s it but I was supposed to down that, something happened and I couldn’t end up going but I was going to meet her then. I’ve been in contact with her parents to ask if it was alright to post about and if they’d accept it if I gave them my ticket money because I wouldn’t want to do it without any permission but I haven’t met them but I’ve read up a lot about it and it’s just doing my bit for someone in need.
On June 23rd are you looking to make a certain statement, are you looking for rounds or a knockout?
Obviously I’d like the knockout, I don’t care how it comes as long as it comes but my last fight, I got a little bit complacent after the first one if I’m honest, I thought that everyone was going to go down as soon as I hit them and I got a bit sloppy, I didn’t really have that fear factor when I was training. For the first one I was going into the unknown, I was training like a monster and the second one I began to think ‘everyone’s going down’ but now the fears back and I’m looking to make a statement.
The flyweights don’t really get much recognition anyway because that don’t knock many people out or they’re not exciting but I want to be an exciting fighter, like Magri. I don’t want to be involved in tear-ups but I want to be in exciting fights. I want to be able to talk properly by the time I’m 35.
Do you reckon you’ll be out of the ring at 35 or are you going to be another Roy Jones Jr?
Nah I definitely won’t be boxing by then but I want to stay in the sport, I want to go into the commentary or the pundit side, I’ve always liked being in front of the camera but I wouldn’t want to leave the sport. I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong and then they want to jump back in too old, too slow because they’ve taken themselves away from it.
I may even train a couple of fighters, I’m not too sure yet.
Obviously you are a Frank Warren fighter, I’m not going to ask you if you want to move but Eddie Hearn’s got his $1billion deal, is that good for boxing or does it risk making it too one-sided?
Brilliant for the sport of boxing. Hearn has certainly made a statement but it is good for boxing. With the two promoters I feel like Warren has the diehard boxing fans, the proper boxing fans but Hearn has the public he has that support – people that aren’t necessarily interested in boxing, just want to be part of something, a crowd.
It would be nice to get a mix but I don’t know, it is a good deal, but as for moving, you know, Frank’s took me since the start. I’ve got a long time left with Frank and he’s doing great with me so far. Bit gutted I didn’t carry on my momentum, I was meant to be fighting in April (the original Saunders-Murray card), I was fighting once every six weeks so it’s put the brakes on a little bit.
I reckon I’ll be out soon after, August/September.
Do you reckon you’ll get another 2/3 fights this year, then?
I’m hoping to have another four, including this one, 6 and 0 by the end of the year.
Any title or will that come next year?
No, no, my first year will finish in December and it’s just about getting a feel for the pro game, getting experience, hopefully getting some stoppages that get my record up then start looking at people, then start calling people out.
I’ve run out of questions now Harvey, it’s been 20 minutes, thanks a lot for speaking to me!
No worries mate, appreciate your time.
Top Australian Trainers Discuss Jeff Horn/Pacquiao “Controversy” and Crawford Fight
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Jeff Horn will need to produce the performance of his career to beat highly-rated American Terrence Crawford on the 9th of June, but he is far from a “paper champion”, according to top Australian trainers.
Although he is a hero to Australian boxing fans, Horn is regularly criticised by American pundits, who have labelled his upset victory over Manny Pacquaio a “robbery” and dismissed his chances of competing with the best in the Welterweight division.
One of Australia’s finest trainers, Gerry Murphy, says he can’t understand the negative press Horn has received overseas or the controversy surrounding the fight.
“I didn’t think it was controversial at all. Jeff won that fight 100%,” he says.
Murphy has been involved in the sport since 1973 and his self-named “Murphy’s Boxing Gym” has produced some of Australian boxing’s biggest names, including Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Brad Pitt and two-time Presidents Cup Bronze medallist Trent Rawlins.
Murphy says he knows a bad decision when he sees one because his current star, WBA (Oceania) Middleweight Champion Tej Singh, has been on the wrong side of a few.
“He has four losses on his record and every single one of them, he has won. So people underestimated him and didn’t realise how good he was,” according to Murphy.
WBA Oceania Middleweight Champion Tej Singh (middle) in sparring action with Gerry Murphy (right) watching on.
He feels that Pacquaio can have few complaints about the result as Horn boxed a smart fight, using his size and tenacity to wear the Filipino down.
He questioned Pacquaio’s conditioning, pointing out that he could have stopped Horn, but didn’t have enough in the tank to put him away.
“I don’t think Pacquaio rated Horn and I don’t think he trained for that fight,” Murphy says.
Predrag Galic, who has produced state and national champions in Boxing, Kick-boxing and Muay Thai out of “Prestige Gym” in Melbourne, agrees that complacency was Pacquaio’s greatest enemy.
“The guy was not prepared. From what I understand he did not train as hard as he should have,” he says.
Galic acknowledges that it can be difficult to get a close decision against a home-town fighter, but says the reality is “against a guy on home soil you must do more to win.”
Predrag Galic, owner of Prestige Gym, Melbourne, Australia
He says peoples’ judgement of the fight has been skewed by the damage he took in the 9th round, when Pacquaio hurt him several times with a barrage of lethal combinations.
“I think a bit of the controversy came from the fact that he was nearly stopped. He got hurt late in the fight, but you can’t score a fight on one or two rounds,” he says.
Whether you feel that Horn deserved the decision or not, Galic says no one could deny that he put on a fantastic performance against one of the best fighters of his generation.
“Controversy aside the guy stood there and fought,” he says.
“Regardless of the decision, for Horn to perform so well against a fighter like that and a southpaw, which would have been uncomfortable for him, I give him a lot of credit,” Galic says.
Although Pacquaio was a huge scalp for Horn, both trainers feel that Crawford represents the biggest challenge of his career.
Murphy has some inside knowledge on the former light-welterweight champion as his fighters watched Crawford spar at a training camp in Colorado.
“The whole Australian team watched him spar at a camp in Colorado and they said he was phenomenal. They said he was almost magical to watch,” he says.
“I think they’re making a bit of a mistake in fighting Crawford now. I would’ve given him a couple of more winnable fights first,” Murphy says.
“They said Crawford’s up there with Lomachenko. I don’t think Jeff can beat him,” says Murphy.
Galic says Crawford’s physical attributes could cause Horn some problems, explaining that “looking at those 2 fighters, Horn is definitely the bigger guy, but Crawford has a longer reach and this is something not many people realise.”
“Crawford’s a little bit shorter but he has a reach advantage. He is a very swift counter-puncher who covers 180 degrees, whereas Jeff Horn covers slightly past 90,” he says.
“Crawford is a volume puncher with a longer reach and a 70% knockout ratio. He’s very dangerous,” Galic says.
“I hope Jeff Horn’s team have looked at that and addressed it in training, otherwise they could be surprised,” according to Galic.
Regardless of the outcome in Las Vegas, Murphy and Galic believe Horn is a great example for young athletes around the world.
Murphy has met Horn at a few national events and says “he’s genuinely one of the nicest guys in boxing.”
He says that Horn doesn’t receive as much attention as he should, partly because “he doesn’t talk shit about his opponents.”
However, he admires the way the Queenslander carries himself and says “he’s a really genuinely nice person.”
Galic tells a similar story, recalling how Horn was so pleasant with all of his fans at a Golden Gloves event and that his newfound fame doesn’t seem to have gone to his head.
“if he really was lucky against Pacquaio, the next few fights will show it,” he says.
Horn will get the chance to prove his doubters wrong again in just a few weeks.