Terence Crawford standing in Jeff Horn’s way

The undefeated American comes into his title fight with Horn with no tangible reason to worry, at least on paper.
Widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Crawford — and seemingly 99 per cent of the boxing public — expect June 10 (AEST) to go one way: A dominant Crawford win.

“I cannot wait to get back in the ring on June 9 (June 10 AEST) and win the WBO welterweight championship,” Crawford told ESPN.

“Jeff Horn and his team better be ready, because they are going to see a bigger, stronger and more powerful Terence Crawford. I am going home with that belt.”

32 fights, 32 wins – including 23 by knockout – the idea of a “bigger, stronger and more powerful” Crawford is scary.

But the Horn bout is uncharted territory for ESPN’s 2017 Fighter of the Year.

Crawford is making his debut at welterweight, after becoming only the third fighter in the four-belt era to hold all four major sanctioning body belts at the same time in the super lightweight (junior welterweight) division.

But this is a different test, meaning some are giving Horn a chance.

“If you talk about boxing skills, there’s no question they belong to Crawford,” legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum told media on Friday.

“But when you talk about size, strength, and determination, you have to give Horn a very good chance.

“I don’t know who will win this fight; a lot will depend on the determination of the two boxers.

“All I know is that it will be a good, hard fought competitive match. The winner of this fight will be considered the big superstar of the welterweight division.”

Julius Indongo, Crawford’s most recent victim, was 22-0 before being finished by the American champ in the third round.

“When he hit me, it hurt so bad,” Indongo said.

“When he hit me like that, my mind was gone.”

Legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach labelled Crawford the best pound-for-pound after his takedown of Indongo.

“He can box, he can move for 12 rounds, he can punch — he hurts everybody,” Roach told Fight Hub TV.

Before that, it was highly-rated contender Felix Diaz, a 2008 Gold medallist, whose only career loss was a controversial decision at welterweight to former world titleholder Lamont Peterson.

“I stopped the fight because I didn’t want him to take any more punishment,” trainer Joel Diaz told the media after throwing in the towel.

“Enough was enough.”

Terence Crawford connects with Felix Diaz.

And before that, it was John Molina Jr., who didn’t get the chance to retire.

An eighth round TKO win for Crawford capped off a performance that HBO’s unofficial judge Harold Lederman put succinctly.

“Molina Jr. is getting hit with everything but the kitchen sink.”

We could keep doing this, but the point is obvious.

Crawford hasn’t earned this reputation from winning.

He got it from dominating.

“The defining characteristic above all things for Terence Crawford I think, is a defectively competitive personality,” ESPN’s Max Kellerman explained.

“We see it in all sports; Kobe Bryant in basketball.

“More than anyone, probably Michael Jordan — someone who needed to compete with everyone at all times, in everything, and make competitions where they didn’t even exist.

“That’s Terence Crawford’s basic personality; he is defectively competitive.

“I suspect it makes him a great fighter, and I can’t wait until the day where he can prove that in the ring against someone else as special as he is.”

Source: FoxSports