Peter Wells is back this week with his official Terence Crawford vs Jeff Horn prediction ahead of the world title fight this weekend in Las Vegas.
He became the belt snatcher in the Light Welterweight division, and now the former unified champion Terence Crawford has his sights set on clearing all sides of the pond at Welterweight.
But his delayed meeting with Jeff Horn – the WBO ruler – has divided opinion, not particularly in whether or not the Omaha, Nebraska native will relieve the Australian of his belt, but rather how easy or hard the task will be.
There is a large contingent that see the two-weight world champ rolling through Horn on Saturday night, and with good reason.
He displayed his ruthless nature last time out against Julius Indongo, while fans have witnessed over the years as the pound-for-pound sensation has switched up a few gears to find the finish as if sticking to a movie script written out before the action began.
But there are some that see this as a tough test, most notably because he is the one entering another fighters division, and for the first time in a while he is going to be the smaller man.
Horn 18-0-1(12KO’s) bullied Pacquiao in a controversial win at home in Brisbane, but he did not seem to carry that form when beating the undeserving Gary Corcoran in the 11th round.
The 30-year old has worked hard to get here, but the experience of beating the great Pacquiao has nothing on what he will encounter in Las Vegas.
Not quite ‘Bud’ Crawford’s backyard, but the popular figure will have fans aplenty, and the buzzing Aussie crowd that carried him over the line against Manny will not be on hand in Sin City.
Crawford 32-0(23KO’s) has come up trumps in unifications with Viktor Postol and Indongo, but knows that this is the door that will open to him a whole new world.
After this the boxing world will be at Crawford’s feet, but until the task at hand is complete, ‘Bud’ must tread very carefully.
Horn’s energy could offset the rhythm and pace that Crawford likes to control, and if Horn turns this bout into a ragged encounter early then it may prove difficult for Crawford to untangle himself from the pattern of an ugly 50/50 fight.
At the conclusion, Terence may still be rewarded with a win, but not in the fashion that sets him apart from the other juggernauts in the 147lb division.
Talk has been consistent from the side of Horn’s team, but it has yet to dislodge Crawford from his laid back demeanour – at least in the public eye.
Crawford has allowed for his fists to do the talking on 32 occasions thus far, and no taunting from the opposition corner is going to alter that in fight number 33.
The switch-hitting Crawford may be in deeper than many of us imagine this Saturday, but that does not alter the strong belief that he wins and wins well.
Horn is a good champion, with still much to learn in the game, but the challenger is destined for excellence and he can boss every minute on route to a crowd pleasing finish.
Horn can keep things interesting as he bundles forward with the sort of aggression that is his only route to victory, but also an accelerated route to defeat.
Crawford’s smarts should see off the early pressure, and once respect is acknowledged for the power that Crawford carries, the champion will begin to ease off the throttle.
‘Bud’ will continue to slowly turn the screw, before sinking in a crippling body shot to relinquish the WBO strap from Horn in round 7.
On a fascinating undercard, Antonio Moran 23-2(16KO’s) and Jose Pedraza 23-1(12KO’s) should thrill fans before the latter wins on points, while Maxim Dadashev 10-0(9KO’s) can continue his destructive start to life as a pro with a knockout win over the declining Darleys Perez 33-3-2(21KO’s).
Jose Benavidez 26-0(17KO’s) will need to remain sensible in defusing the inexperienced banger Frank Rojas 22-0(21KO’s) to force a late stoppage or win on the cards, while Shakur Stevenson 6-0(3KO’s) meets Brazilian puncher Aelio Mesquita 16-1(14KO’s) in a bout he should dominate.