WBO welterweight world champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is getting things in motion for his training camp, to prepare for the planned mandatory world title defense against Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs).
The deal is still being finalized, but the contest will land on the ESPN date of April 14th from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Horn is putting together a sparring team comprised of Queensland prospect Liam Paro, Olympians Cameron Hammond and Paul Fleming, world No. 4 junior-middleweight Dennis Hogan and former Australian amateur champ Nathan Webber.
Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, felt the inclusion of Paro, who is unbeaten in 12 bouts, was key to prepare for this fight.
He helped Horn prepare for last July's fight with Manny Pacquiao - which saw the 2012 Australian Olympian shock the world by securing a twelve round unanimous decision over Pacquiao to capture the WBO title.
“Liam’s a really slick boxer, very clever,” Horn told the Courier Mail. “He’s an awkward southpaw and Crawford fights a lot from a southpaw stance so I’m preparing against both left-handed and right-handed fighters.
Crawford is a huge favorite to win the fight. He had a banner year in 2017 and was widely considered for 'Fighter of The Year' honors. He began the year by battering and stopped Olympic gold medal winner Felix Diaz and then unified the entire junior welterweight division by knocking out Julius Indongo in three rounds to unite the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF titles.
Horn has a lot of respect for Crawford, but he is not overly impressed and does not view the unbeaten challenger as some rare commodity.
“Crawford is a very good boxer, obviously, but I think there are a lot of fighters with similar speed and talent to him, so I’m certainly not overawed. It will be good to prove the critics wrong just like I did against Pacquiao when so many people said I didn’t stand a chance," Horn said.