Although Las Vegas is well-known for its bright lights and gambling, the city has also played a huge role in the history of boxing. Many famous venues have hosted boxing events over the years, and people come from all over the world to place bets on fights. “Sin City” continues to put on high-profile contests. On top of that, many world-class fighters live and train in the city.
On June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) will defend his WBO title for the second time when he faces Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs).
The fight was originally scheduled for April 14, serving as Crawford’s official debut at 147 pounds. But Crawford pulled out with a right-hand injury, which started a verbal war between the two camps over his toughness.
Former schoolteacher Jeff Horn pulled off a stunning upset by defeating Manny Pacquiao via a controversial unanimous decision to capture the WBO welterweight crown at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane back in July of 2017.
Fighting in his hometown in front of a crowd upwards of 50,000, 29-year-old Horn showed no signs of being overawed in the biggest test of his career and made a mockery of his huge underdog tag as he more than matched his Filipino foe.
Pacquiao, one of the finest fighters of his generation after world title wins in eight weight classes, finished the stronger of the two and seemed to have done enough to retain his 147lb world title. But two judges scored the fight 115-113 and the third had it 117-111 in favour of Horn, as 38-year-old Pacquiao succumbed to the seventh defeat of an illustrious 68-fight professional career.
Horn is undefeated as a professional and a solitary draw against Rivan Cesaire in 2013 in his fourth fight is the only blemish on his record. The bout was called a technical draw after Cesaire suffered a bad cut on his head after an accidental head clash.
At the age of 29, Terence Crawford is a nine-year pro. A two-division world champion, he is one of boxing’s brightest rising young stars.
He is one of a handful of elite-level fighters who want the biggest challenges and biggest fights, and his consistently outstanding performances against top-level opponents have established him as one of the best fighters at any weight, “pound for pound.”
Terence won the WBO lightweight world title on March 1, 2014 and made two successful title defenses over the next eight months. Those three performances earned him the Boxing Writers Association of America’s award for the “2014 Fighter of the Year”.
He then moved up in weight and won the WBO junior welterweight world title in April of 2015 and made two successful defenses. In a title unification bout on July 23, he made his third WBO defense and won the WBC title with a 12-round unanimous decision win against previously undefeated and defending WBC champion Viktor Postol. He then defended both titles two times.
In his last fight on August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Terence unified all four of the major organization’s titles with a spectacular one-punch, third-round knockout win against previously undefeated, defending WBA-IBF champion Julius Indongo.
Crawford is arguably the best pound for pound boxer in the world, as he checks all the boxes from ring IQ to power to combination punching. Horn has never been in the ring with somebody as polished as Crawford and yes, that includes Pacquiao, who was a shell of himself in that last fight at nearly 40 years-old.
Crawford is the favorite going into the fight with Horn not looking impressive against Gary Corcoran back in December. With Crawford moving up in weight, the former unified champion will have an easier time making weight and has the body to fit in naturally at 147. Horn will have to contend with Crawford’s power, but Horn has always been able to fight above his skill level. This will be one of the more intriguing fights at welterweight, with the winner setting himself up for a major unification bout in late 2018 or in 2019.