By Keith Idec
Glenn Rushton disputes the prevailing feeling that Jeff Horn will have a noteworthy weight advantage against Terence Crawford.
When they enter the ring Saturday night in Las Vegas, Rushton suspects Horn and Crawford will weigh close to the same amount when they get in the ring. Crawford said during a conference call Tuesday that he’s not sure what he’ll weigh on fight night because he’ll compete at welterweight for the first time in his 10-year pro career.
Horn has fought at or around the welterweight limit of 147 pounds since he turned pro in March 2013.
“I don’t believe we’ll have this huge size advantage that everybody’s saying,” Rushton said on the conference call. “We’ll have a one-inch height advantage. Naturally, Terence can’t change his height [5-feet-8]. But I think we’re gonna be not surprised because I expect Terence will come in here equally as big as Jeff.”
That said, Rushton expects Horn’s experience at welterweight to serve the WBO champion well against the former undisputed 140-pound king.
“What we will have is the advantage of we’ve been consistently fighting welterweights since we started, whereas with Terence, this is his first step up to [welterweight],” Rushton said. “So we are used to the strength of this division, rather than having a huge size advantage going into the fight. So it’s just my opinion. I think Terence will come in here a lot bigger than a lot of people think, and I don’t think there will be a noticeable size advantage. But Jeff, of course, is incredibly strong.”
Australia’s Horn, 30, agreed with Rushton’s take. Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) will make sure, though, not to underestimate Crawford because Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) is considered the smaller man entering their scheduled 12-round fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena (ESPN+).
“Look, I don’t think there’s going to be any advantage, really, in this fight, except for maybe as we go on to the later rounds,” Horn said. “I’ll have the advantage that I’ll be able to maintain. I’ve made this mistake before in the past, where I fought a guy in the amateurs. He was one weight division, a few kilos lighter than me, just as Terence Crawford was, and he put me on my back a couple of times in that fight.
“I said to myself, ‘In the future, I’m never gonna take any guy lightly, just because he’s one division below me.’ And that’s the same with Terence Crawford. It’s here and I’m going to be giving him the respect he deserves, but also I’ll be fighting my fight and I’ll be out there to win it.”
Crawford contended Tuesday that he isn’t sure what to expect in terms of a potential size disparity.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Crawford said. “I’ve never seen the guy [in the ring]. I’ve never seen him personally. I don’t know how much he hydrates to or whatnot. But like I said before, it don’t matter.”
Crawford, 30, will have a much better feeling for what he’ll weigh Saturday night once he has some time to rehydrate following Friday’s weigh-in.
“I haven’t weighed in at 147 and hydrated back up to my natural fighting weight,” Crawford said. “So I really don’t know.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.