Five Fights to Look Forward to in the United Kingdom
By: Oliver McManus
At the top level of the game there are plenty of great fights taking place with Britain blessed to have world champion after world champion but take a step backwards to appreciate the full scene and you’ll find a whole host of tasty match-ups happening at levels of the game –
Jason Welborn vs Tommy Langford
Welborn vs Langford has all the ingredients for a scintillating rematch as the “Battle of the Baggies” moves onto round two (well, technically, rounds 13-24) in Birmingham on September 8th.
First time round in Walsall, Jason Welborn took to the centre of the ring right from the off with an incredible work-rate, targeting the body of Langford whilst the champion, Langford, looked to establish what he believed was his technical superiority.
Both fighters were fast on their feet and willing to trade punches with neither afraid of taking a shot in order to land a flurry of their own and even though Welborn came into the fight the, large, betting underdog, he showed no signs of relenting as went into the championship rounds, staying busy and landing an accumulation of punches.
The fight was up for grabs and in a genuine domestic thriller, Welborn emerged the victor via a narrow split decision (114-113, 114-113, 113-115) and claimed the British Middleweight championship from his rival.
This time round on the undercard of Khan-Vargas, Welborn will be looking to go one step even further than he manged in May and stop Langford within the distance – let’s not forget that Langford was counted in the 2nd round after the ropes had held him up –, enhancing his position as a genuine contender in the packed middleweight scene.
Tommy, on the other hand, will be looking for redemption and bounce back from his second loss in the space of 13 months – the first, a fifth round TKO loss to Avtandil Khurtsidze – with a dedicated, technical performance that, prior to these potential hiccups, had seen him being targeted for an all-British showdown with Billy Joe Saunders.
Indeed Langford wasn’t on his A Game when the first fight occurred, not that we should take any credit away from Welborn, and you could argue that he adapted a little too much to the game-plan of his challenger – stick to the basics, work the jab and that’s when Langford really hits his stride.
Jeff Ofori vs Jumaane Camero
Has this fight been mentioned enough recently? Spot the sarcasm because this fight is, put simply, A FIGHT. One better than that, it’s a fight that you genuinely cannot pick a winner from.
It’s a fight that you don’t want to HAVE to pick a winner from, either, both of these guys are genuine, humble people who haven’t forgotten where they come from. Ultimately, though, on September 15th one of these lightweights will emerge as the Southern Area champion – Camero having defended it successfully or Ofori having mounted a victorious challenge.
Stylistically the two are vastly different with Camero having, typically, been the more patient and measured boxer who likes to control the fight at his own tempo and has quite a unique style but, make no mistake, is capable of packing a whack so you do not want to be on the end of one of those big punches.
As Jumaane says, himself, he is “freakishly long limbed” and possess a style that makes dealing with him incredibly awkward – Ofori, on the other hand, is much more of your typical aggressor, seeking to take each and every fight with a high-tempo, guns-blazing style of boxing.
At the end of June, Ofori faced a tough journeyman, Luke Fash, in full knowledge that this Southern Area fight was to follow and Jeff looked imperious, cutting off the ring really well and attacking the body of Fash with vim and vigour – speaking to Ofori afterwards, however, he said he wanted more rounds to get used to the longer distances, as opposed to his fourth round knockout.
This will be Ofori’s first ten round bout but with both men talking as though they expect it not to last the scheduled distance there is no doubt that September 15th will see fireworks aplenty – Ofori needs to keep up his aggression, work the short uppercut when he’s on the ropes whilst Camero should look to use his awkward style and height advantage to the best of his ability, the styles will mesh and produce a sumptuous bout so all that’s left to do is buy the tickets because you do not want to miss this.
Cello Renda vs Luke Cowcroft
Cello Renda is a man who, for a long time now, has always promised much and whilst he has achieved one hell of a lot – current Southern Area champion, challenged for the English and British belts – there’s been a distinct feeling that, actually, he could be coming into the best years of his fighting career.
A win against Leon McKenzie, last year, re-established himself on the map and look at his record, you’ll see he’s fought Liam Conroy, Jack Arnfield, Sam Horton, Martin Murray, Danny Butler, Tom Doran, Paul Smith and these are not names to be sniffed at by any stretch of the imagination.
But, as mentioned, it was that fight against McKenzie that really seemed to, on paper, ignite something within him as he demonstrated his power, precision and sheer toughness to an absolute tee – Renda was in a war and he came out on top. Since then he’s been targeting the English title that Darryll Williams holds and this fight against Cowcroft is serving as an eliminator for that belt.
Cowcroft, on the other hand, is taking a huge step in quality but Stefy Bull clearly thinks he’s talented enough to carry off an upset and the mood around the Doncaster light-heavyweight is distinctly upbeat and it’s clear to see that he’s improved significantly in the three years that he’s been out of the ring.
Not so much of a power puncher as Renda, Cowcroft has an absolute engine within him and will be looking to out-work Cello, tiring the Southern Area champion, before mounting a late surging attack as he, to boot, looks to prove any doubters wrong.
This fight has all the makings of an absolute classic, Cello Renda looked the best he’s ever looked up against Leon McKenzie, punch-perfect stoppage, and Luke Cowcroft is constantly developing, constantly learning and not just in training but in the ring, too, up against Renda he will need to have learnt an awful lot but if anyone can secure such an upset, surely, it’s the man from Doncaster.
Jazza Dickens vs Martin Ward
A rematch for the vacant British super-bantamweight title, made possible by Thomas Patrick Ward withdrawing from the scheduled fight and opting to fight for the IBF European belt instead.
Jazza Dickens has had a frustrating last couple years following his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, a fight that resulted in a broken jaw for Dickens, and was unfortunate last year to suffer a cut above the left eye against Patrick Ward that forced the contest to go the scorecards early – Dickens was trailing but had momentum and the fight was shaping up to be a real pick ‘em with everything likely coming down to the final three rounds.
Since then the Liverpool fighter has looked crisp in training, arguably in the shape of his life, and against Martin Ward, on July 27th, there’s every expectation of a better, more convincing performance than the last time they fought (in 2015).
Three years ago this duo fought the full 12 rounds before a split decision rendered Dickens the winner and, in turn, the British champion – Dickens was the fighter pressing the case and working the angles but a split decision was probably accurate.
With Dickens there is little doubt just how talented a fighter he is and the southpaw possess all the technical traits that could see him go all the way, on top of that he has a brilliant energy, work-rate and stamina that marks him out as a complete fighter just waiting to get tested.
Martin Ward, former British and Commonwealth Champion, is not to be underestimated and the experienced fighter relies on a patient game-plan, looking to take the fight at a constant, comfortable pace, often fighting at distance.
Past performances would suggest that Ward has peaked at around the British level with his previous step up to European level resulting in a second round knockout loss to Abigail Medina – not the greatest of opponent but no-one to discredit – and this fight in Houghton Le Spring will be seen as the 30 year old’s golden opportunity to really propel his name back into the talking.
Dickens would, you assume, prevail in this contest especially if he is to reach the heights he is expected but, as happens time and time again, you can never assume anything in boxing and the winner of this contest, Dickens or Ward, will have a couple of cracking clashes in the offing.
Kyle Yousaf vs Tommy Frank
Stefy Bull has been announcing some really good fights as of late – Atif Shafiq vs Andy Townend, Robbie Barrett vs Matty Fagan – and Kyle Yousaf vs Tommy Frank is part of the stellar card taking place in Barnsley on October 5th.
An application has been made to the BBBofC for this bout to be for the English belt and when you look at the domestic shake-up then there can be no qualms about the fight having such status.
Having the poisoned chalice of competing in the lower weight divisions, Yousaf and Frank have had a criminally small amount of media attention throughout their careers despite them both being absolutely phenomenal fighters.
Yousaf, the more experienced with 13 fights, beholds an impressive fighting brain with his ability to pick punches marking him out at an early stage of his career. Not many fighters, when they first turn pro, are mature enough to identify periods of the bout when they don’t need to come out swinging but Yousaf, still only 25, has frequently shown incredible maturity during the ring.
Against Gyula Dodu there was a punch-perfect display from the Golden Kid as he used his left jab repeatedly to keep on top of his opponent before dropping down to the body with some telling right hands to the body. A superb right to the head of Dodu, launched with exquisite timing and precision, finished off the fight and even though the bout lasted 118 seconds, the talent on show was mouthwatering.
Tommy ‘Super Frank’ is the current Central Area Super Flyweight champion and against Craig Derbyshire, in Frank’s seventh fight, the Yorkshire boxer impressed with his fight pace, going 10 rounds but looking comfortable throughout, and his commanding presence at the centre of the ring enables him to cut space off for his opponent, shortening the distance and letting Frank work the inside of his opponent – something he does particularly well.
When the hands get loose, they don’t half pack a punch and with a strong preference for targeting the body, he knows to pressure the opposition onto the ropes before unleashing with a series of alternating shots to the body.
In terms of power Yousaf probably has the upper hand, that should be evident from his superior knockout rate, but this is a fight you don’t see getting stopped early, it’s an enthralling battle between two young, hungry, undefeated fighters and it has all the ingredients of being an absolute barnstormer.
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.
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.
Will Christian Carto Be Philly’s Next Bantamweight Champion Since “Joltin” Jeff Chandler?
By: Ken Hissner
Former Philadelphia WBA World Bantamweight Champion “Joltin” Jeff Chandler was 13-0-1 with 4 knockouts after his first 14 fights. His fourteenth fight was his first 10 rounder.
In comparison Philadelphia’s 21 year-old Christian Carto is 14-0 with 11 knockouts and a former 2014 and 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion. He’s also been the main event boxer on three shows. Starting August 11th, September 29th and March 2nd.
Photo Credit: Darryl Cobb, Jr.
On April 28th he will be fighting for the same promoter Chandler had who is IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing. The bout will take place at the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia which is the home base for the Temple University Owls basketball team. It is also where both Peltz and his assistant matchmaker Brittany Rodgers graduated from.
Peltz is known to give the fans what they want and put’s on very competitive fights. Carto’s opponent will not be an exception in Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 9-4 (5), of Puerto Rico. He is coming off a win over Juan Carlos Camacho then 6-0 (4) in August by majority decision in Complejo Ferial, Ponce, PR, over 6 rounds. In his previous loss he lost a split decision over 10 rounds to Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, then 31-4 (19), at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA, to win the UBF All America Super Flyweight title. He has a knockout win over Puerto Rico’s Carlos Rodriguez who was 12-1 at the time for the WBA Fedecentro Super Flyweight title.
Carto is trained by former PA Golden Gloves Champion Mickey Rosati. He trains above Rosati’s Auto Repair Shop in South Philadelphia. Carto’s manager is his brother Frankie Jr. who was a PA Novice champion. In this writer’s conversations with Frankie it’s like talking to an old time manager. For someone so young and inexperienced you would never guess this. Rosati is one of the best young trainers in the business and having his boxing career in Philadelphia following his father’s career has really been a blessing. At the gym today I found out PAB HOF Mickey Sr. fell and fractured his pelvis and broke a hand. He is in the Methodist Hospital in South Philly and “fighting to get back home” with every doctor he encounters.
Carto turned professional on July 2, 2016 stopping Rahkeam Parker at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA. Just 20 days later he was stopping Christopher Nelson who was making his debut at the Claridge Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, NJ.
Carto would win 4 more fights in 2016 with 3 at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and 2 at the Liacouras Center where his next bout will be held. He would have a total of 7 fights at the SugarHouse Casino, 1 each at the Fillmore and 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Tropicana Hotel & Casino as well as the previously mentioned Claridge making it 2 in Atlantic City.
Carto’s last 3 wins have be 8 round decisions over Mexico’s Alonso Melendez, 14-1, Mexico’s Luis Fernando Saavedra, 7-3 and James Smith 12-1 of Detroit, MI. It wasn’t until his last fight against Smith that one of the judges had an opponent winning a round.
KEN HISSNER: Do you know anything about your next opponent Edwin Rodriguez?
CHRISTIAN CARTO & MICKEY ROSATI: We’ve seen several films on him. He looks more like a boxer than a slugger.
FRANKIE CARTO: We have seen enough films on Rodriguez to know that he will be a tough test for Christian even though he is coming up a couple of pounds from his usual weight.
KEN HISSNER: Do you feel you have learned more from winning your last 3 fights by 8 round decisions than your first 11 bouts by stoppages all within 5 rounds?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: I believe I am learning and improving with each fight.
MICKEY ROSATI: We work on new stuff and he adjusts so good it’s amazing how quick he picks things up.
KEN HISSNER: This will be your third time fighting at Temple University’s the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Is there much difference than fighting in smaller venues?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: I don’t notice the crowd so the size of the facility or crowd doesn’t matter to me.
KEN HISSNER: You have fought for promoters Hard Hitting Promotions, King’s Promotions and now Peltz Boxing in association with Top Rank Boxing. Do you and your brother Frankie feel it’s good so that you can evaluate them?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: My brother Frankie takes care of all of this.
FRANKIE CARTO: We evaluate them and all have helped Christian’s career which is important in a young career. This keeps him in the gym. He will be having his fifteenth fight next month in twenty-two months since turning professional in July of 2016.
KEN HISSNER: What is the weight set at for the fight with Edwin Rodridguez knowing he is a super flyweight?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: The weight is set at 118 give or take a pound.
KEN HISSNER: Who was your amateur trainer?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: Tony Brisani who also trained Mickey (Rosati) in the beginning. Then Mickey came in from that point and for all my professional fights.
KEN HISSNER: Would you say sparring with Manny Folly also out of Philly who is 10-0 has been as tough as any of your opponents?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: Manny gives me the best sparring I could get and he is as good as my opponents have been.
KEN HISSNER: Who have you sparred with in preparing you for this upcoming fight?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: I just finished sparring with Stephen “Scooter” Felton (12-0 Philly Featherweight).
KEN HISSNER: Have you signed a promotional contract as of yet?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: No.
KEN HISSNER: In your last bout you had your first main event fight. In the one coming up you will be on a card with a world title bout, a pair of 10 rounder’s and be one of the four 8 rounder’s but on a much larger stage and on ESPN. Can you compare the two without yet experiencing it?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: It is exciting on the same card with some good people.
KEN HISSNER: I believe I have covered all your 14 bouts and have to say you are probably the most exciting to watch because you come with the “full package” of boxing skills and punching power. Do you feel the fans expect a knockout since your first eleven fights ended that way?
CHRISTIAN CARTO: I feel I am getting better with each fight. I know it’s a learning process going from the amateurs to the professionals.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule preparing for your upcoming fight on April 28th.
CHRISTIAN CARTO: Anytime.
Horn To Possibly Face Crawford in New York; Pacquiao Rumored to be on Card
By: Sean Crose
Although nothing has been made official yet, indications point to WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn facing his mandatory challenger, Terence Crawford, at the historic Madison Square Garden in the spring. What’s more, Manny Pacquiao may be making his ring return (it will be his first fight since losing to Horn via controversial decision last summer) on the same card. Fox Sports Australia reports that “Horn’s welterweight world title defense against unbeaten American Crawford is likely to be officially confirmed soon, but it won’t happen in Las Vegas as first planned.” What’s more, Fox claims “Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has revealed he’s looking to book Pacquiao’s much-anticipated return to the ring on the same card.”
Horn (18-0-1) stunned the world when judges awarded him a surprise decision win against Pacquiao in July. Although many – perhaps even most – felt Pacquiao won the fight, the judges’ decision, rendered in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, made the now 29 year old Australian a world champion. Pacquiao afterwards returned to Filipino politics, where the iconic fighter works as a sitting senator. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Crawford (32-0) unified the junior welterweight division by destroying the 22-0 Julian Indongo in August before announcing that he’d be moving a division up, to welterweight.
There had been word that Horn would face fellow Australian 48-8 Anthony Mundine in a homeland superbout, but a match with the more challenging Crawford clearly took precedent. Having won a single defense against 17-1 Gary Cochoran since besting Pacquiao, Horn will be fighting in the United States for the first time, if and when the bout with Crawford (and it’s New York City location) becomes official. Should the planned MSG fight become a reality, it will be Crawford’s third match in the Big Apple. As for Pacquiao, it’s unknown who his opponent would be.
There have been rumors that the fighter known as PacMan was willing to go down in weight to fight wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko, or even cash in on a novelty bout with UFC star Conor McGregor. Neither of those possibilities (if they even were true possibilities) appear to have led anywhere, however, so it’s a bit up in the air as to who the legendary 59-7-2 multi-titlist will face next. With Crawford favored to best Horn, however, there is a belief that Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Crawford, might arrange for the two men to eventually clash.
The Madison Square Garden Horn-Crawford-Pacquiao card is expected to go down on April 14th.
Jeff Horn Defends WBO Welterweight Title by Stopping Gary Corcoran
By: Ken Hissner
WBO Welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, of Brisbane, Australia made his first title defense at the Convention & Exhibition Centre, in Brisbane, Australiaagainst No. 10 contender the British and WBO Inter-Continental champion Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran,of London, UK.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
WBO Welterweight champion Jeff “Hornet” Horn, 18-0-1 (12), of Brisbane, Australia, stopped British & WBO Inter-Continental champion Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran, 17-2 (7), of London, UK, in a blood filled battle on both sides at 1:35 of the eleventh round.
In the first round Horn used the jab from the start. It took close to half a minute for Corcoran to throw a punch. Horn lands the first combination to the head of Corcoran. A Horn jab knocked Corcoran off balance. In the second round a Horn right to the chin of Corcoran stunned Corcoran. Horn did it again seconds later. Corcoran landed his best punch so far a short right to the chin of Horn. Corcoran warned by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. as Horn got spun around Corcoran hit him from behind. In the third round Horn landed a 3-punch combination on Corcoran. Corcoran spun Horn around landing a left hook to the head. Horn landed a good right to the head of Corcoran who countered with a left hook to the chin. Both fighters warned for dirty tactics by referee Esteves, Jr.
In the fourth round Corcoran landed a good lead right to the head of Horn. Inside Horn landed a left hook to the head of Corcoran as the fight started to heat up. Corcoran back Horn up with separate left then a right to the head. Horn landed a good right to the head of Corcoran within ten seconds of the end of the round with Corcoran getting the final punch in a left hook to the head of Horn. In the fifth round Corcoran landed lead rights to the head of Horn. Horn landed a pair of uppercuts to the chin of Corcoran. A Corcoran left hook to the right ear of Horn got his attention. Horn warned for holding. Corcoran landed a hard overhand right to the head of Horn. In the sixth round Corcoran landed a solid left hook to the head of Horn after some thirty seconds of action. Corcoran cut on the outside of his left eye. It seemed to urge Corcoran to throw more punches as the blood flowed down the side of his face. Horn was cut by the left eye.
In the seventh round with the fight looking even at the halfway point with Horn taking the first three and Corcoran the last three rounds. Horn landed a good combination to the head of Corcoran. Horn landed a lead right knocking the head of Corcoran back. A Corcoran right to the head of Horn knocked him off balance. Corcoran warned for landing a right to the head of Horn after the bell. In the eighth round Horn was cut on the right eye but he came back with a solid combination. Corcoran warned for holding and then Horn for the same. In the ninth round Corcoran backed up Horn with a 3-punch combination. Blood coming down the eyes of both fighters as it gets rough inside. Horn landed a good right uppercut to the chin of Corcoran.
In the tenth round Horn almost put Corcoran through the ropes with a flurry of punches. Corcoran came back with a combination and showing a smile. Corcoran’s left eye bleeding from Horn’s left hooks. Between rounds the ring physician checked the left eye of Corcoran. In the eleventh round a Horn combination knocked Corcoran off balance. Horn in control of the fight as referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. who did a good job throughout had seen enough of the badly cut left eye of Corcoran stopping the fight to in favor of Horn to the disgust of Corcoran for the fight to be stopped by the urging of his corner.
After Horn took the first three and Corcoran the next three Horn took over taking the last four going into the eleventh round. The talk in the ring after the fight was Horn meeting four division super lightweight champion Terence Crawford moving up to welterweight. It would be a giant of a mountain for Horn winning that one. It also leaves former champion Manny Pacquiao out of the picture hoping for a deserving rematch with Horn.
Super middleweight Rohan Murdock, 21-1 (15), Queensland, Australia, defeated Apti “Tiger” Ustarkhanov, 15-3-3 (5), of Kurchaloi, Russia, for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
IBF Pan Pacific Featherweight Champion Nathaniel “Cheeky” May 19-1 (10), Bunbury, Australia, defeated Aelio “Biro” Mesquita, 16-1 (14), San Paulo, Brazil, for the Asia Pacific Title.
Super featherweight southpaw Paul “Showtime” Fleming, 25-0 (16), of Sydney, Australia, defeated Vergil “Strong Man” Putton, 17-9 (8), of Manila, Philippines.
Jeff Horn to Defend WBO Welterweight Title Against Gary Corcoran in Australia
By: Ken Hissner
The new WBO Welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, 17-0-1 (11), makes his first title defense Wednesday at the Convention & Exhibition Centre, in Brisbane, Australia. He will feel at home living in Brisbane as he defends his title against his No. 10 contender the British and WBO Inter-Continental champion Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran, 17-1 (7), of London, UK.
Horn won the title in his last fight in July over former WBC World Flyweight, IBF Super bantamweight, IBF World Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC World Lightweight and WBO World Welterweight Champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 59-6-2, by scores of 117-111, 115-113 twice, at the Suncorp Stadium, in Bribane in July of 2017. The fight was close enough that Pacquiao has demanded a rematch in April in the Philippines when as a Senator of that country he is on break. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one!
The 29 year-old Horn has a win over former IBF World Welterweight Champion Randall “Knock Out-King” Bailey, 46-9 and the WBO African Champion Ali Funeka, 39-6-3. Corcoran’s trainer Frank Greaves has complained that Horn has a reputation for coming forward and using a head butt. The allegation is strongly refuted by the Horn camp.
The 27 year-old Corcoran has defeated other unbeaten boxers such as Rick Skelton, 13-0, Rick Goddine, 21-0-1, Liam Williams, 14-0-1, and in July in his last fight over Larry Ekundayo, 12-0.
The Horn camp may be looking past Corcoran having their eyes on Terence Crawford who holds all the four super lightweight title and recently announced he is moving up to welterweight. He is also targeting IBF Champion Errol Spence and WBA & WBC Champion Keith Thurman according to trainer Glenn Rushton. “Jeff has trained for a 12 round bout but I want him to score the knockout. I want this to be a big statement to the rest of the welterweight division,” said Rushton. Horn’s only non-win was against Rivan Cesaire in 2013 but stopped Cesaire in 2014. Horn has never fought out of Australia.
It’s already been announced that American Benjy Esteves, Jr., will be the referee. This writer considers him one of the world’s best having seen him on numerous occasions.
The championship fight will be broadcasted over ESPN 6:30AM EST.
Pacquiao Unable To Rematch Horn In 2017
By: Sean Crose
In what has proven to be a stellar year for the sport of boxing, many fans of the sweet science were hoping Manny Pacquiao would help wrap things up in style via a November rematch with Jeff Horn, who bested Pacquiao by extremely controversial decision last summer. That, however, doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The highly anticipated fall throwdown is a no-go due to the fact that Pacquiao, a Filipino senator, will be unable to push his governmental duties aside long enough to get the fight in. Rather than fighting Horn on November 12th, the planned rematch date, Pacquiao will be among other Filipino delegates visiting China.
Horn was a widely unknown, yet undefeated, Aussie welterweight when he met Pacquiao in his homeland early last July. Surprising many with his performance, the gritty – some would say dirty – Horn, stunned the world by winning Pacquiao’s WBO world welterweight title with what many believe was a hometown decision. Pacquiao, however, is at the point in his career where another controversial loss (he was stunned by the judges in his first go round with Tim Bradley back in 2012) won’t much impact his reputation or monetary potential.
Still, the lack of a rematch smacks of unfinished business. Pacquiao, however, is said to wish to rematch Horn next year. Whether a second battle between the two men is feasible or not remains to be seen. It would most certainly be lucrative, however, if it took place in Australia, as the first fight did. For Pacquiao-Horn went down in front of 50,000 fans in Brisbane and was a big ratings hit for ESPN, which broadcast the event live on Fourth of July weekend. Pacquiao, who is no longer the pay per view star he once was, couldn’t have asked for more (except, of course, a win).
In the meantime, however, Horn may face a foe far less popular than Pacquiao. Indeed, word is out that the new champion may make his first defense against former Pacquiao victim Jessie Vargas, who Pacquiao easily bested last year.
Although Horn-Vargas might prove to be an interesting fight, it doesn’t have the built in appeal that a rematch with Pacquiao would. The Filipino legend is an international celebrity, after all. And, as last week’s Mayweather-McGregor fight proved, name value alone can greatly elevate a fight in the public consciousness. Pacquiao, however, is obviously on the downside of his illustrious career. He didn’t look particularly impressive against Horn, no matter how one felt about the decision, and it seems time is assuring his days in the ring are winding down. The clock may be ticking.