A few days ago, WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) was venting his frustrations at the promotion for the upcoming mandatory title fight with Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs).
This Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Crawford will challenge Horn in the main event of a card being staged by Top Rank.
Top Rank has a long-term agreement with Crawford, while Horn becomes a free agent after this bout.
Horn and his handlers were not pleased with one-sided promotion in favor of Crawford - and said everything was being pushed in favor the undefeated challenger.
The 2012 Australian Olympian said he felt like a "pawn" in Top Rank's plan to make Crawford a world champion in a third weight class.
Horn and his trainer, Glenn Rushton, also complained that Top Rank placed them in a very hot gym with no working air conditioning - so they switched to an alternative location.
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum denied any claims of uneven playing field said it was ESPN's decision to market the event as 'Crawford-Horn' - where the champion got second-billing.
“Well, we don’t have to engage in conspiracy theories. The facts are that yes, this is our last fight with Jeff Horn. We had him with Pacquiao and then a defence against Gary Corcoran and now his mandatory fight with Terence Crawford with whom we have a long-term contract. But I am absolutely sure that everything inside the ring will be absolutely neutral," Arum told Courier Mail.
Arum also disputed some of the fears from Australian boxing legends like Jeff Fenech, who explained the possibility of the officials being biased in Crawford's favor.
“You’ve got an American judge (Burt Clements), an Australian judge (Adam Height from Brisbane) who is certainly not going to be biased and an Italian judge (Guido Cavalleri) who couldn’t care less which fighter wins. The idea that the judges will be biased against Horn is just ignorance," Arum said.
“Jeff’s trainer Glenn Rushton quite rightly asked for the officials to be balanced. The deserved winner will get the decision.’’