By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Jeff Horn has noticed people pontificating about a Terence Crawford-Errol Spence Jr. showdown as if he has no chance whatsoever of upsetting Crawford on Saturday night.
Crawford-Spence is typically touted as one of the best boxing matches that can be made. Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, and Spence (23-0, 20 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, both are generally regarded to be among the top 10 fighters, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
Australia’s Horn has a different plan.
The WBO champion intends to set up his own welterweight title unification fight against Spence by beating the heavily favored Crawford in their 12-round, 147-pound championship match at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Definitely, I would love Errol Spence’s belt,” Horn told a small group of reporters prior to a press conference Thursday at MGM Grand. “I would love to ruin their plans. These guys are talking like I’ve lost this fight already, so I’ll definitely be knocking on the doors to all these guys after [upsetting Crawford].”
Spence, 28, is scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title against Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) on June 16 in Frisco, Texas. Showtime will televise the Spence-Ocampo match from Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility.
The 30-year-Crawford is listed as more than a 9-1 favorite over Horn at the MGM Grand’s sports book (-950/+600). Horn, also 30, figures he still won’t get the credit he deserves if he knocks off Crawford in the former lightweight and super lightweight champion’s debut at 147 pounds.
“If I beat Terence Crawford, I’ll still be a lucky guy – according to some people, at least,” Horn said. “I’ve got it my whole career and I still get it now. I’ve been lucky with the judges, or I got [in] a lucky punch. So something’s gonna happen that I’m just a lucky guy.”
The Horn-Crawford fight will be the main event of an eight-bout card Saturday.
The seven-bout undercard will start streaming on the ESPN+ app at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The co-featured fight, a 10-rounder that’ll pit Puerto Rican lightweight contender Jose Pedraza (23-1, 12 KOs) against Mexico’s Antonio Moran (23-2, 16 KOs), is set to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.