Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford at the official media conference ahead of their world title bout.
Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford at the official media conference ahead of their world title bout.

Horn’s promise: ‘I’m going to shock the world’

WORLD welterweight champion Jeff Horn came face-to-face with Terence Crawford in an angry exchange and declared he would still hold the title after what is expected to be a brutal slugfest in Las Vegas on Sunday.

While Crawford said he hoped a victory would inspire poor kids from his old neighbourhood in Omaha, Nebraska, Horn said he had all of Australia fighting alongside him.

The two stared each other down for the cameras as the cocky, swaggering Crawford said: "You ready.''

Horn, the nicest man in Australian sport grinned back and replied: "Yeah, I'm ready. Are you?''

 

Horn looked noticeably bigger - a fraction taller at 175cm but more powerfully built through the upper body. The gracious Horn initiated a brief handshake with his challenger.

Crawford is chasing a hat-trick of world titles after winning both the lightweight (61kg) and light-welterweight (63.5kg) crowns but faces the biggest and strongest opponent of his career in welterweight (66.7kg) champ Horn.

The two 30-year-olds barely glanced at each other in a front off for the cameras at a press conference in the MGM Grand theatre that is designed for illusionist David Copperfield, appropriate given Horn's lifelong fascination with magic tricks.

Horn said he was surprised to be such a big underdog for the fight even though waves of money are shortening the odds.

Both Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford are talking up a big fight on Sunday. Pic Peter Wallis
Both Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford are talking up a big fight on Sunday. Pic Peter Wallis

"Terence is a great fighter, pound for pound, he wiped out the junior-welterweight division,'' he said.

"I've heard a lot about Terence and seen a lot of him too and I don't think he's fought anyone like me or with the same ability.

"I'm planning on going out and shocking him and the rest of the world.''

Crawford said Horn would "most definitely'' be surprised by his punching power at the heavier division.

"He's viewing me as a small welterweight but I'm prepared for whatever he brings. He might get hurt.

Terence Crawford celebrates his victory by knockout over Julius Indongo in the third round of a junior welterweight world title unification bout.
Terence Crawford celebrates his victory by knockout over Julius Indongo in the third round of a junior welterweight world title unification bout.

"I'm not Manny Pacquiao. I'm bigger. I'm stronger and I'm in my prime. People are saying Horn pushed around Pacquiao but he won't do that to me.''

Crawford said he would break Horn's will.

"A lot of people came at me with a strong will over the years and they leave with their tail between their legs. Pressure breaks pipes,'' he said.

Horn is unbeaten in 19 fights and Crawford unbeaten in 32.

Jeff Horn is 19-0 in his career.
Jeff Horn is 19-0 in his career.

Crawford, who drove himself to hospital 10 years ago after being shot in the head, said the children of Omaha looked up to him as a sporting hero and he was fighting to inspire them to rise above poverty.

"I have the chance to give these kids hope,'' he said. "That's important. They come from nothing like me and I won't let them down.''

Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton pointed out that while Horn had fewer fights than Crawford and did not have the "silky'' style of the American he had made the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics while Crawford had lost in the US Olympic trials, despite his vaunted reputation.

While Crawford had fought many guys with losing records in his first 19 fights, Horn had faced 12 world-rated opponents.

Jeff Horn v Terence Crawford Pay Per View will be broadcast on Foxtel Channel 507.


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