Terence Crawford is widely regarded as a top pound-for-pound star. Almost anybody with a worthwhile opinion places him somewhere in the top five; top three is more common. He is equally skilled from both a southpaw and orthodox stance. He is dangerous from long, middle and close range. He is a cool tactician with the ability to turn a switch and unleash a hot-blooded mean streak when it’s time to close a fight.
His resume speaks for itself. At 135 pounds he knocked out Yuri Gamboa (effectively derailing the Cuban star’s career) to claim the WBO strap. At super lightweight he was that rarest of unicorns, a true, undisputed, unified Champion of the World.
Jeff Horn is famous for one reason–he beat Manny Pacquiao in 2017’s Upset of the Year. In retrospect, perhaps the win should not be viewed as such a shock. Horn was far larger, far younger and fought in the Olympics as an amateur. He is a class fighter with plenty of guts and a good boxing IQ.
He may well prove to be the toughest opponent of Crawford’s career, if for no other reason than size.
Then again, Horn will not have the size advantage against Crawford that he did against Pacquiao, who, after all, began his career as a flyweight. While the Australian visibly towered over Pacquiao, he will be pretty similar in stature to Crawford.
He will have to actually box against Crawford, because bullying will not be the same option that it was against the Filipino Senator.
An interesting thing to note will be how Crawford splits his time between stances. The sport’s premiere switch hitter will be able to present Horn a confusing array of looks this Saturday night.
In the end, I have no trouble choosing Crawford. I will not be surprised to see Horn finish the fight standing but the score cards will not be close.
What this weekend should ultimately set up is the next major welterweight unification fight, between Crawford and Errol Spence. For hardcore fans, this will 100 percent be a superfight.