By Keith Idec
Jeff Horn is wrapping up camp at trainer Kevin Barry’s gym in the Las Vegas area this week in advance of his showdown with Terence Crawford on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Australia’s Barry, who trains former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker, has watched his countryman’s career closely and has offered Horn some friendly advice in advance of the Crawford fight. Barry stated in an article published Sunday by the Brisbane Times that Horn must make Crawford completely uncomfortable by being as rough and unconventional as possible because Crawford is so exceptionally skilled.
“I think it’s very important,” Barry said. “He’s fighting a very skillful guy who has been able to – and allowed – to dictate terms in many of his fights. I think if Jeff allows Crawford to get into any rhythm at all, fight off his long jab, I think it will be a very difficult fight.”
The 30-year-old Horn roughed up Manny Pacquiao on his way to winning a controversial unanimous decision and taking the WBO welterweight title from the Filipino legend last summer. Two clashes of heads, each ruled accidental, caused cuts near Pacquiao’s hairline in the sixth round and over Pacquiao’s left eye in the seventh round.
Horn later survived serious trouble in the ninth round and won their 12-round fight on all three scorecards July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
The 30-year-old Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is an even heavier favorite than Pacquiao was to beat Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs). Numerous Internet sports books list Crawford as a 10-1 favorite over Horn.
Barry recognizes just how huge of a challenge will await Horn at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night (ESPN+).
“He’s got to be unorthodox,” Barry said. “He has to show him some angles he’s never seen before. And when he does close the distance, he’s got to be a mongrel. He’s got to hit him in the hip, he’s got to hit him in the arse. He’s got to put a glove up in his face.
“You have to do everything you can to win the fight. Jeff is the champion. He’s defending his world title against a very good fighter who is undefeated, and he has to bring the beast out, he has to bring the dog out, he has to bring the mongrel out.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.