As Australian welterweight Jeff Horn puts the finishing touches on his preparation for his WBO world title defence against American Terence Crawford next month, the unbeaten Nebraskan’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has refuted claims that he has been disrespectful towards the 30-year-old Brisbane champion.
In the lead-up to the fight there has been a change of venue, a rescheduling of the date and even the type of gloves to be used – Crawford’s camp wanted to use horsehair gloves, notorious for favouring punchers as the padding can be manipulated and pushed back from the knuckle.
“Nobody is treating Horn with disrespect,” Arum to the Australian Associated Press. “This would be a massive thing for Horn to beat Crawford and he would get all the accolades that come with it.
“I think the winner of this fight will be considered the big superstar of the welterweight division.”
Despite Horn entering the bout as the reigning champion after dethroning popular multi-weight champion Manny Pacquiao on points last July, Crawford is the bookmakers favourite after winning a world title in the lightweight division and unifying all four major titles at junior welterweight.
“When you look at these two fighters, if you talk about boxing skills, no question that those belong to Crawford,” he said.
“But when you talk about size and strength and determination you have to give Horn a very, very good chance.”
With three weeks to go until fight night and the officials including the referee yet to be appointed, you can expect more drama yet before the two undefeated boxers step into the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9.
But there is one thing that Arum remains certain of.
“It’s going to be special,” he said.