Jeff Horn is close to doing something few Australian boxers can claim to have done.
Fight in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Horn faces a mandatory defense of his WBO welterweight title when he steps into the fabled ring against Terrence Crawford on April 14.
The last Aussie pugilist to fight in Madison Square Garden was Daniel Geale, who was beaten in an IBO middleweight title bout in July of 2014.
Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu never got the opportunity to fight in New York City. A couple of others, Kali Meehan and Billy Dib, did make it there, but only on undercards.
“There’s so much rich history that goes with it,” Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan said in remarks to the AAP. “You’re on a global stage and also what this presents to Jeff is a massive opportunity going forward. “If Jeff (can) establish himself in the American market, that’s what every boxer wants.”
That and a fight against Conor McGregor.
Leaving the friendly confines of Brisbane, where Jeff Horn won his last two fights, one against Manny Pacquiao and another from English slugger Gary Corcoran, will be something of a challenge, but the true obstacle for Horn is Crawford, who has never been beaten or drawn and who is considered by some to be the greatest of all time, pound-for-pound.
Further elaborating on the opportunity fighting in Madison Square Garden affords, Lonergan said, “While the Australian market is a good market, it’s not quite America, where you’ve got the biggest economy of the world, 300 million people and massive boxing support.”
Lonergan can be forgiven for being a bit over the top in describing the support boxing receives in the U.S., but what he said about the economy is true and his population count is reasonably accurate.
It will be Horn’s first venture out of Australia or New Zealand, but we reiterate, it is not the venue, but the opponent that should most concern Horn and his corner.