Jeff Horn is confident he can beat Terence Crawford in Las Vegas next month, saying he’s got the “skills and the heart” to win their welterweight title bout.
However, Horn admitted the April 14 showdown at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre against the unbeaten American - a world champion in two weight classes and regarded as one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters - won’t be easy.
“Terence is a great fighter, great counter-fighter, he’s fast and powerful, but he hasn’t fought anyone like me before and I think I’ve got what it takes to win,” he said.
Horn’s promoter, Duco Events boss Dean Lonergan, said the fight would be much tougher than that against Manny Pacquiao last July at Suncorp Stadium, which the former school teacher won to be crowned WBO welterweight champion.
“This fight in Las Vegas is Jeff Horn’s debut on American soil and it’s without doubt his toughest fight to date,” Lonergan said. “If we talk about mountain climbing Manny Pacquiao was Mt Kilimanjaro, this guy is Mt Everest.”
Horn said Crawford is younger than Pacquiao, and has the home turf advantage.
“It’s a big fight and with big fights come big rewards, and Terence Crawford is definitely a mountain to climb,” he said.
“Me and Terence are exactly the same age now, in our thirties, in our prime and I think it’s going to be a cracking fight.”
Horn dismissed concerns his plan to arrive in the US just 10 days before the fight would leave him at a disadvantage.
“A lot of people say that’s too short but I think I’ve got a lot of time to acclimatise and get ready,” he said.
Horn said a win against Crawford would put him on track for an early retirement.
“I’m world champion now and I need the world to take notice,” he said. “If I keep winning and keep having these big fights against these massive names in the sport I could retire in probably three or four fights.”
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged everyone in Horn’s home state to throw their support behind him.
“Of course we’re here as Queenslanders to back Jeff as he heads from Brisvegas to Las Vegas on April 14.”
Ms Palaszczuk will not travel to Las Vegas for the fight as she will be busy with the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast - which conclude the same day as Horn’s bout.