Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) may have never had the chance to “achieve greatness” against Terence Crawford had he not agreed to an April fight in Las Vegas, his trainer Glenn Rushton says.
An official announcement is imminent after Horn’s camp agreed terms for an April 21 match-up against Crawford, the unbeaten American who is a former world champion in two weight classes and regarded as one of the best active fighters on the planet.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) unified the entire junior welterweight division in 2017, after knocking out Julius Indongo in three rounds. He was appointed as the mandatory challenger when he officially made his move to the welterweight limit if 147.
Horn had been tossing up a potential $2 million meeting with Anthony Mundine but, after negotiations with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, the former schoolteacher has opted to take the hard road instead of the easy money.
Most US boxing fans expect Crawford, 30, to wipe the floor with Horn and take his world championship after moving up to the welterweight limit, having cleaned out the light welterweight division. But, as ever, Rushton and his charge have other ideas.
“There’s things that can be done but you put this one off and Crawford goes in a different direction and then we miss the opportunity to achieve greatness. We never make it. Then we’ll never know whether we would have beaten him. We want the big fights. If we’re going to fight him, we may as well fight him while Jeff’s in his prime,” Rushton said.
He said Horn was relishing the challenge of fighting in America and proving a point to his doubters.
After shocking Manny Pacquiao last July with an upset decision to capture the WBO title, Horn and Rushton believe the majority of the boxing experts - especially in the United States - have not given them the proper credit.
Rushton hopes that a stoppage win over Crawford will finally get Horn some proper recognition as a great fighter.
“The only way you can get recognition is to go over there and fight the guy that most people regard as the best fighter in the world and stop him. If we do that ... I’m hoping they’ll sit up and actually finally acknowledge that Jeff is a great boxer,” Rushton said.