ESPN continues to present high quality boxing action this weekend, when pound for pound great Terence Crawford (32-0; 23 KOs) challenges WBO Welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1; 12 KOs). The fight is for Horn’s 147 pound world title. Ring Magazine calls Crawford the sport’s #3 overall boxer, with Horn ranked at #5 in the stacked Welterweight division. The fight takes place this Saturday, Jun 9 and airs live on the new ESPN+ platform with a fight time of 9:30 p.m. ET.
How do these two stack up?
Crawford: 30 years old | 5’8” | 70″ reach | orthodox stance
Horn: 30 years old | 5’9″ | 68″ reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Crawford: W – Julius Indongo (KO) | W – Felix Diaz (RTD) | W – John Molina, Jr. (TKO)
Horn: W – Gary Corcoran (TKO) | W – Manny Pacquiao (UD) | W – Ali Funeka (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Terence Crawford is on the short list of the very best fighters in the sport today. The undefeated fighter won the lineal Lightweight title in 2014, then moved up to Junior Welterweight, won the lineal title there, and, in his last fight, unified all major titles in the division – an extremely rare occurrence in modern boxing. He promptly vacated those belts and moved up a division to the lucrative Welterweight scene. Now, he looks to win a major world title in his third division.
To most fans, Australia’s Jeff Horn is pretty much solely known for one fight – his 2017 clash with Manny Pacquiao. Horn was widely criticized as a poor opponent for Pacquiao heading into that fight, and though he seemed to lose the fight, he pulled off a controversial unanimous decision win, taking home the WBO belt in the process. He’s had one low key successful defense since, with discussion of a Pacquiao rematch not yet coming to fruition. This is his first ever fight outside of Australia and New Zealand, and is a big step up – how big depends entirely on just where you rank 2017 Pacquiao.
What can fans expect?
Look, we all completely blew off Horn’s chances the last time we tuned in to watch him, and he proved us wrong. Kind of. But regardless of what you thought of that decision, Horn did demonstrate his toughness and durablity in that fight. He came back late in that fight and used his resilience to steal some rounds. At the same time, he was outmaneuvered and outboxed by Pacquiao, and in today’s landscape, Crawford is the better technical boxer than Pacquiao. He also has the heavier hands. Crawford is not a one punch KO kind of guy usually, but he is vicious, and can pour it on. Yes, he’ll be the smaller man here, but I’m not ready to say that is enough for Horn to win this. Especially when you consider that Pacquiao (also not big for the division) very nearly KO’d Horn in what would have been just Pac’s 2nd KO since 2009. If Crawford gets that same opportunity – and I suspect he does – he closes the show.
Prediction: Terence Crawford, KO, R7
Who should watch?
It’s up against a pretty good UFC, and it’s probably not going to be a super competitive fight, but Crawford is good stuff, worth a watch if you can.