We are just a couple of days over two months away from the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford WBO welterweight title fight set for New York, and Horn has assembled his team of sparring partners as he trains for what could be referred to as the biggest fight of his career (although the big win he scored last July, against Manny Pacquiao in taking the WBO belt, is of course right up there).
As per a piece in The Courier Mail in Australia, “The Hornet” will spar with unbeaten prospect Liam Paro, former Olympians Cameron Hammond and Paul Fleming, and world-ranked 154 pounder Dennis Hogan, as well as with another amateur star in Nathan Webber. Horn says he is not at all intimidated at the prospect of facing the undefeated Crawford, that he will once again “prove the critics wrong.”
“Liam’s a really slick boxer, very clever. He’s an awkward southpaw and Crawford fights a lot from a southpaw stance so I’m preparing against both left-handed and right-handed fighters,” Horn told Grantlee Kieza. “Crawford is a very good boxer, obviously, but I think there are a lot of fighters with similar speed and talent to him, so I’m certainly not overawed. It will be good to prove the critics wrong just like I did against Pacquiao.”
In the big upset win over Pac-Man, Horn overcame a disadvantage in speed (Pacquiao not being the speed demon he once was but still faster than most welterweights) and he clearly feels he will do so against Crawford on April14. In fact, Dundee Kim, who has recently been added to Team-Horn in a strength and conditioning role, says Horn can “beat Crawford to the punch.”
“Speed is the key for this fight,” Kim said. “Jeff has to overpower Crawford but he has to be fast to dodge the counterpunches. He can’t afford to rush in because Crawford is so quick. Jeff can beat him to the punch and Jeff has a lot more power behind his shots.”
Kim will also see to it that Horn’s recent weight issues – where he had to shed a significant amount so as to climb onto the scale at 147 – no longer surface. Horn says this is already working and that he will have to lose 2KG before the Crawford fight, not the 4KG he had to drop before the Pacquiao and Gary Corcoran fights.
“We’re training like never before,” Kim stated. “Man, it’s hard work. But Jeff will shock the world with this fight and after it people will say he’s the world’s best fighter no matter what weight division.”
Jeff Horn, pound-for-pound king? That would be a sensation. But it’s not one Horn and his team see as an impossible task.