By Keith Idec
Terence Crawford laughed off comments made by Jeff Horn’s trainer regarding referee Robert Byrd’s need to allow Horn to fight the way he has grown accustomed Saturday night.
Glenn Rushton, Horn’s trainer, reiterated during a conference call Tuesday that he’ll urge Byrd to let the Horn-Crawford fight flow, without constantly breaking Horn and Crawford apart at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (ESPN+).
Rushton previously told the Brisbane Times for a story published Sunday that Horn doesn’t head-butt his opponents or intentionally lead with his head.
When asked about Rushton’s comments, an incredulous Crawford made if perfectly clear what he thinks about the rough tactics Horn has employed in previous fights.
“What, does he want Robert Byrd to let him head-butt and hold and hit, and do all that extra stuff?,” Crawford said during the conference call. “I just laugh at it. I don’t know. I don’t care.”
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, understands Rushton is just doing his job by trying to protect Horn’s best interests in advance of their 12-round fight for Horn’s WBO welterweight title. Nevertheless, Crawford can’t comprehend how anyone could objectively state that Horn doesn’t bend boxing’s rules with his physical, rough approach in the ring.
“Well, you know, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the type of tactics that he uses in the ring,” Crawford said. “But if [that’s what Rushton said], that’s his word on how his fighter fights. Of course he’s gonna back his fighter up with whatever his fighter’s doing in the ring.”
When Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) upset Manny Pacquiao last summer, two clashes of heads, each ruled accidental, opened cuts on Pacquiao’s face July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
The first laceration opened along Pacquiao’s hairline in the sixth round. The second cut opened in the seventh round, over Pacquiao’s left eye.
Horn later overcame severe trouble during the ninth round and won a controversial unanimous decision (117-111, 115-113, 115-113).
The Philippines’ Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) was criticized following his surprising defeat for not retaliating when Horn repeatedly roughed him up. Crawford assured Tuesday that won’t be an issue for him if Horn begins bending boxing’s rules during their fight.
“Oh,” Crawford said, “he’ll find out come fight time.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.