Jeff “Fighting Schoolteacher” Horn has earned the right to a moment in the spotlight with his April 15 fight in Madison Square Garden on April 15, but he may have to put some training time into resisting the verbal barbs of his undefeated opponent, Terence Crawford, who was more than ready to declare that Horn lags behind the best welterweights in the world.
The final I’s are being dotted and the T’s crossed, as Crawford me with immortal promoter Bob Arum at the weekend past.
Crawford has 32 wins and zero losses on his resume and the bookmakers have him as a heavy favourite. Ladbrokes has him priced at a Winx-like $1.10, compared to $7 for Horn.
Unlike Jeff Horn, or almost any other Australian boxer, for that matter, Crawford has two wins under his belt at Madison Square Garden, having beaten Hank Lundy and Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in boxing’s most famous venue.
Crawford rated Horn below both IBF champion Errol Spence and WBC/WBA champion Keith Thurman ahead of Horn.
Horn told reporters and Yahoo Sports, in remarks that appeared in The Courier-Mail, speaking of the Horn – Pacquiao fight, “Early on and late in the fight Jeff was roughing Pacquiao up. He was pushing him around. ‘He was making Pacquiao miss.”
Crawford’s final salvo was the most damaging, saying that Horn, “Was landing a lot of little shots that might not have been hurting Pacquiao but they were scoring. Pacquiao was landing shots that maybe weren’t as telling because Jeff is so big Pacquiao wasn’t moving him.’’
Horn had a response, along with the typical boxer bravado about the opportunity to beat one of the more well-known names in the sport of boxing.
“Hardly anyone gave me a chance against Pacquiao and I proved them wrong,’’ Horn said. “It’s the same with this fight. ‘‘I’m looking to beat a guy who many people say is the best fighter in the world pound for pound.’’
The great Floyd Mayweather said that Crawford reminds him of a younger version of himself, but Crawford did not say that Mayweather reminds him of an older version of himself.
Respect, Mr. Crawford. Respect.