Horn vs. Crawford: Will the delay hurt Crawford more?

As fight fans have surely read by now, the WBO welterweight title fight between defending champ Jeff Horn and challenger Terence Crawford has been postponed from its date of April 14 due to Crawford injuring a hand (not too seriously reports say) during a spar session.

This fight – one that has had its share of problems; what with the date already having been moved once before, along with the venue (it was, we thought, set for New York, only to be shifted to Vegas) – will now go ahead in either May of June, still in Vegas. This means that not only will Crawford’s 147 pound debut have to wait, but the former 135 and 140 pound champ will also undergo the longest layoff of his pro career.

Last having fought in August, when he despatched Julius Indongo in just three-rounds to clean up the 140 pound division, Crawford will have either endured a nine or a ten-month layoff by the time the Horn fight finally rolls around. Horn last fought in December, so it is possible the delay will hurt Crawford more than it does the champ who will be making his second title defence.

Could the delay even have a major effect on the fight, on how the action plays out and on who wins? Going into the April 14 fight, most, if not all fans were predicting a win, likely a commanding one, for Crawford. But ring-rust may now play a big part in the fight. Crawford, far more reliant on sharp reflexes, timing and subtle defensive moves than the physically strong, more straightforward-fighting Horn (no-one was ever expecting Horn to outbox Crawford, his best shot of winning instead being to rough Crawford up and bully him) might just find he’s lost a split-second or two when he’s back in action in the summer.

Maybe, maybe not. But the delay of this fight, though it isn’t really good news for anyone – not the fighters, not the promoters, not the fans – might just give Horn some added confidence. Ten months without a fight is a long time, especially for a smart and clever boxer who is known for his speed and timing. And don’t forget Crawford will be fighting at a new weight in May or June.

What do you think: has this fight edged at least a little closer, all you fans who had a Crawford-wins-big-and-in-style mindset?

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