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Jeff Horn not worried about underdog status against Crawford; will have winning mentality like Pacquiao fight

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LAS VEGAS — It’s been almost one year since Australia’s Jeff Horn won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world title from the legendary Manny Pacquiao in July of last year. Now, in the second defense of his championship, Horn will put it on the line against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Terence Crawford this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Crawford, a product of Omaha, Nebraska, will fight within the 147 pound division for the first time in his career — which just happens to be a world title shot. Crawford has largely been considered a heavy favorite since this matchup with Horn was announced earlier this year. Including this Saturday’s bout, Horn has been in the position of not having a chance to win in his past two of three fights. Pacquiao, who is scheduled to go toe-to-toe with Lucas Matthhysse in July and is boxing’s only eight-division world champion, lost the controversial unanimous decision to Horn, in a fight that many pundits felt was incorrectly scored and could have possibly been attributed to Horn having the hometown advantage.

Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) has carried this controversy with him since his most prominent win and subsequently stopped Gary Corcoran in the first defense of the title. However, a convincing win over a fighter like Crawford will not only let him keep his world title, but it would show the critics that he does belong in one of the most talented weight classifications in boxing.

“I don’t think about the underdog status. I had that before in the Manny Pacquiao fight,” Horn said at the final press conference this week. “I will do what I did for that fight and that is not worry about that and just worry about what I’m going to do in there and make a fight of it and be competitive and win. Just keep thinking along those lines.”

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Terence Crawford works out for the media this week in advance of his first world title fight at welterweight this Saturday against Jeff Horn. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The 30-year-old Crawford also maintains a high level of confidence, and says that Horn, even though he found some success in overpowering Pacquiao at times, will not be able to do that this Saturday with him.

“I’ve seen him get hurt. I’ve seen him get dropped. We’re gonna see come Saturday night who’s gonna be getting rocked and dropped,” Crawford, who unified all the major world titles at 140, said.

Julius Indongo was the last junior welterweight opponent to fall to Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) in his final bout at 140 pounds. Shortly following this win, Crawford relinquished all of his world titles and made the move to the highly competitive welterweight division, where many have said he belongs.

Having this Saturday’s matchup in Las Vegas is an obstacle for Horn, as Crawford, in addition to being an American fighter, will likely have many of his Omaha fans make the trip to witness his first chance at a welterweight title. Horn is likely to try and smother Crawford as he exhibited with Pacquiao, but a clash of heads maintains a lower chance to happen since both athletes are orthodox in their stance. Nevertheless, Crawford has shown in the past that he is willing to switch to a southpaw stance if he feels its required to gain the advantage. But Horn is leaning towards keeping the decision out of the judges’ hands, and retain his WBO world title against one the sport’s best.

“That guarantees a win if you knock the other guy out,” Horn stated. “If you search for it too much, that’s when it doesn’t come.

“I’ve just got to fight my heart out, and that’s all I can do.”


Remaining tickets for Crawford vs. Horn, priced at $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50 (limited availability), can be purchased online through axs.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office. The event will be streamed exclusively on the ESPN+ App beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET./6:30 p.m. PT, while the undercard, including Pedraza vs. Moran, Stevenson-Mesquita, Benavidez-Rojas, Nelson-Webster, and FloresRojas, will be shown on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

 

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About Danny Z

Danny Z is a contributing writer/reporter for Under The Hand Wraps. He, along with his co-host Michael Shepherd, host the weekly podcast, The Last Round, every week from Southern California. Danny Z has contributed to numerous sports' websites and has been covering boxing events for the past four years. He is also the founder of Z-BoxingNews -- a YouTube channel that delivers fighter interviews, workouts and more in relation to the sport of boxing. Follow Danny Z's work here at Under The Hand Wraps, his podcast work at The Last Round, and stay up to date with his work by following him on Twitter @DannyZ_Boxing.

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