By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – The conversation inevitably turned to Jeff Horn’s fight against Manny Pacquiao on Thursday.
The biggest win of Horn’s career, however controversial it might’ve been, was a point of emphasis during the final press conference for the Horn-Terence Crawford fight Saturday night at MGM Grand.
Crawford calmly listened to everything Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, and trainer/manager, Glenn Rushton, had to say.
When it was Crawford’s turn to speak, though, the undefeated favorite delivered a firm reminder to Horn and his team.
“Listen, I’m not Manny Pacquiao,” Crawford said. “I’m bigger, I’m stronger, I’m in my prime, and that’s gonna show come Saturday. A lot of people is comparing how he pushed around Pacquiao, but that’s not me. You know, Pacquiao’s 5-5, I believe, 5-6. You’re viewing that and comparing the Gamboa fight, when I got hurt, to this fight. But I done seen [Horn] get dropped. I done seen him get rocked.”
Lonergan interjected, but Crawford cut him off.
“Ain’t nobody interrupt you,” Crawford said. “I’m still talking. I’m still talking. So we’re gonna see come Saturday night who’s gonna be getting rocked and dropped.”
The 30-year-old Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, will make his welterweight debut when he challenges Australia’s Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) for his WBO 147-pound championship Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena (ESPN+).
Rushton got Crawford’s attention recently when he said that if Yuriorkis Gamboa could hurt him, the bigger, strong Horn clearly could hurt and even stop Crawford. Gamboa buzzed Crawford early in the ninth round of their lightweight title fight nearly four years ago, but Crawford came back quickly, dropped Gamboa twice, the third and fourth knockdowns he scored in their fight, and stopped Gamboa later in that action-packed ninth round.
Horn didn’t drop Pacquiao, but he manhandled the smaller former champion at times on his way to winning their 12-round fight on all three scorecards (117-111, 115-113, 115-113). Two clashes of heads, each ruled accidental, also opened cuts along Pacquiao’s hairline in the sixth round and over his left eye in the seventh round.
The Philippines’ Pacquiao was 38 when he lost his title to Horn on July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.