Weekend Review: Crawford-Horn, Santa Cruz-Mares, Fury, More

By Michael Rosenthal

Let’s look forward instead of backward this weekend.

I’ve wanted to introduce a COMING UP section to the WEEKEND REVIEW column for some time and this is the perfect week to do it, as there were no major fights the past few days but several on deck.

The plan is to focus on the most interesting, most-talked-about matchups of the coming weekend. So here goes.



Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford: Let’s start with the best fighter in action this weekend, Crawford, who challenges WBO welterweight titleholder Horn on Saturday in Las Vegas.

I understand the frustration of Horn, who has bemoaned a perceived lack of respect going into the second title defense of the belt he took from Manny Pacquiao last July in Brisbane, Horn’s hometown.

The fact is this is a mismatch.

Horn (18-0-1, 12 knockouts) used mauling tactics to make his fight with Pacquiao competitive but he received a gift decision. I had the much-more-active Pacquiao winning eight of the 12 rounds, which was in line with the consensus.

And that version of Pacquiao wasn’t the dynamo of the past. Horn was outboxed by a famous, but faded opponent.

By comparison, Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) is a sublimely talented all-around fighter at the peak of his abilities. Bob Arum, his promoter, said Crawford is on the level of Sugar Ray Leonard. That’s a stretch but I understand the sentiment: He might be the best fighter in the world.

Horn is naturally bigger than his challenger. And the Aussie’s physical style could give Crawford some minor problems, as it did Pacquiao. That said, you should expect a one-sided fight. Horn is in over his head.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares II: I believe Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) when he says he feels rejuvenated under new trainer Robert Garcia and that he’ll be a better fighter in his rematch with WBA featherweight titleholder Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) on Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Still, I don’t see how he can reverse the outcome of their first meeting, a majority-decision victory for Santa Cruz that should’ve been unanimous.

Mares fought hard and well – about as well as he could – but still came up well short on the two cards that reflected what happened in the ring, both of which had Santa Cruz winning nine rounds. I thought the winner outboxed and outslugged Mares in the biggest test of Santa Cruz’s career, one that demonstrated that Santa Cruz could compete against anyone.

Mares remains a very good fighter at 32. Santa, 29, is simply better.

Tyson Fury vs. Sefer Seferi: It’s about time.

Fury will have been out of the ring since November 28, 2015, the night he stunned the boxing world by outpointing seemingly unbeatable Wladimir Klitschko to win the heavyweight championship.

Can he regain that form after blowing up in weight and then trimming back down during such a long period of inactivity?

Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) starts the process Saturday in Manchester against an opponent who poses a limited threat, a 39-year-old Switzerland-based Albanian with no significant victories. We’ll get an idea of where Fury stands but, as he pointed out, the goal is merely to get some rounds under his belt.

I expect Fury to fairly easily outbox Seferi (23-1, 21 KOs) but one never knows. Fury put his body through hell, he has been away a long time. The Fury who befuddled Klitschko might be gone forever.

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and the rest of us will be watching with great interest.

Other fights: Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) defends his WBC junior middleweight title against veteran Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) on the Santa Cruz-Mares card. This could be challenge for Charlo, whose technical skills have been questioned, but I think he’ll prevail.

Trout attributed recent losses to Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd in part to his opponents’ unusual size – his way to saying Jermell is a bit smaller – but he hasn’t won an important fight since he outpointed Miguel Cotto in 2012. He is only 5-4 in his last nine fights, with additional losses against Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.

I doubt Trout, 32, has enough left against Charlo, a big puncher in his prime.

Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs) fights Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KOs) for the vacant WBO junior welterweight on the Fury-Seferi card. Interesting fight between two very good boxers.

Flanagan is the more accomplished of the two but is moving up in weight to face a tall, capable opponent. I think Flanagan is the more complete fighter but don’t count out Hooker, whose only recent slip up was a draw with Darleys Perez. …

The International Boxing Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2018 this coming weekend. The inductees include Erik Morales, Vitali Klitschko and Winky Wright. I’ll take a look at them and others next weekend.

Michael Rosenthal is the most-recent winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Nat Fleischer Award for excellence in boxing journalism. He has covered boxing for almost three decades.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by gritsteel on 06-05-2018

[QUOTE=Corelone;18832427]Horn has to take damage to do damage. He plans to swell and bleed. I'm pretty sure they won't stop it with Horn on his feet.[/QUOTE] If the referee is like the one in Australia between Pacman vs Horn, Horn…

Comment by rudy on 06-05-2018

[QUOTE=Hot Shyt;18831921]he's knocked out his last four opponents in spectacular fashion. KO ratio isnt the only determinant of how hard one hits. You can be heavy handed and not hit your opponents where they need to be hit for them…

Comment by Corelone on 06-05-2018

[QUOTE=Curtis2;18831962]I'm very hopeful Horn's corner does the right thing, saves him from serious damage....[/QUOTE] Horn has to take damage to do damage. He plans to swell and bleed. I'm pretty sure they won't stop it with Horn on his feet.

Comment by Curtis2 on 06-05-2018

I'm very hopeful Horn's corner does the right thing, saves him from serious damage....

Comment by Hot Shyt on 06-05-2018

[QUOTE=Rockybigblower;18831890]Why does he say Jermell is a big puncher? At 30-0 with 15 KO's that's a 50% KO ratio. Anybody else would be called featherfisted.[/QUOTE] he's knocked out his last four opponents in spectacular fashion. KO ratio isnt the only…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Martin Murray, Roberto Garcia Promise Fireworks at The O2 Lewis Ritson Inks New Five Fight Deal With Matchroom Parker's Trainer: We Put Dillian Whyte Fight Together in 3 Days Sanchez, Golovkin: His Riches Have Changed Canelo as a Person Spence on Crawford Fight: We're Gonna Meet Up, Make Big Money Frampton: Me vs. Santa Cruz is The Biggest Featherweight Fight John Ryder Eyes Chris Eubank Jr, Rematch With Rocky Fielding Paddy Gallagher Not Worried About Tactics of Gary Corcoran David Allen Vows To Test The "Heart" of Tony Yoka Dina Thorslund vs. Yessica Munoz Set For WBO Title, August 25 Sanchez: Golovkin Didn't Care About Canelo's Deadlines Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. To Fight On, Hopes To Gain WBC Title Shot Spence: Why Not Make Mikey Garcia Fight if He Can Beat Easter? WBC Prez Wants GGG, Canelo To Drop The Topic of Clenbuterol Sor Rungvisai Wants Defense in Thailand, Then HBO Bout in 2019 Isaac Dogboe is Very Eager To Unify With Danny Roman Spence: Jermall Charlo Will Beat Triple-G and Canelo at 160 Photos: Gilberto Ramirez, Alex Saucedo Putting in Work SHO's Espinoza Expects Spence Back For One More in 2018 Golovkin: Canelo Can't Look in My Eyes; He Knows I'm Correct Showtime's Spence-Ocampo Main Event Peaked at 726K Viewers Sanchez To Canelo: At Least Try To Knock Golovkin Out! Photos: Claressa Shields, Hanna Gabriels - Meet Up, Put in Work Liam Williams Parts Ways With Trainer Gary Lockett Hearn: I Won't Let Joshua Face Wilder With an 8-Week Camp! Bryan Vasquez Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank Carl Frampton Predicts a Very Bright Future For Michael Conlan Ricky Burns Rules Out A Fight Against Josh Taylor UK News: Umar Sadiq, Barnes vs. Rosales, Darryll Williams, More Joseph Parker's Trainer Details 7 Week Camp For Dillian Whyte Errol Spence: Amir Khan Has Al's Number if He Wants to Fight Me De La Hoya: Triple-G Should Talk In the Ring, Try to KO Canelo Fury: Bellew is a Sh*thouse, I'll Punch His Mouth When I See Him! Jack Catterall: I'm Confident That I'd Beat Hooker, Take His Title Nick Ball, Meshech Speare Added To MTK Liverpool Card Josh Taylor: I Want To Do a Number on Postol, Knock Him Out! De La Hoya: Canelo is So Angry at GGG - Woke Up Sleeping Giant! Hughie Fury Would Take Joshua Fight Right Away, Says Trainer Crawford vs. Spence Heating Up as The Next Big Fight at 147 Sanchez Hopes Canelo is Not Talking The Talk and 'Fights' GGG

Latest Active Forum Threads