Crawford puts Horn down without a punch
THEY haven't exchanged punches yet but already undefeated American Terence Crawford has hit Jeff Horn low, saying he lags behind the best welterweights in the world.
Crawford met his 86-year-old promoter Bob Arum in Texas at the weekend to thrash out the final contract details for his April 15 fight with Horn at New York's Madison Square Garden and said he was ready to repel the Brisbane boxer's American invasion.
Unbeaten in 32 fights, Crawford is a raging favourite to make it a hat-trick of victories at boxing's most famous arena, having stopped heavy- hitters Hank Lundy and Olympic gold medallist Felix Diaz in his two previous appearances at ''The Garden''.
He will fight Horn for the WBO welterweight crown that the Fighting Schoolteacher battered from the head of Manny Pacquiao before more than 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium on July 2.
Crawford told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that next to him, IBF champion Errol Spence and WBC/WBA champion Keith Thurman were the two best welterweights in the world. Horn was below them.
Crawford said Horn's victory over Pacquiao was "a close fight'' that could have gone either way.
"Early on and late in the fight Jeff was roughing Pacquiao up,'' Crawford said.
''He was pushing him around.
''He was making Pacquiao miss.
"He was landing a lot of little shots that might not have been hurting Pacquiao but they were scoring.
"Pacquiao was landing shots that maybe weren't as telling because Jeff is so big Pacquiao wasn't moving him.''
Horn says he is relishing the opportunity to beat one of the biggest names in the sport and will leave for America nine days before the bout.
"Hardly anyone gave me a chance against Pacquiao and I proved them wrong,'' Horn said.
"It's the same with this fight.
''I'm looking to beat a guy who many people say is the best fighter in the world pound for pound.''
All-time great Floyd Mayweather has said that Crawford reminds him of a younger version of himself, while the slick Crawford insists that he is not just a clever boxer "but I can punch too''.
He says last year's Madison Square Garden KO victory over Diaz, who won Olympic gold for the Dominican Republic in 2008, showed that he can carry his power to the welterweight division where Diaz had spent much of his career.