It was baptism by fire for Jeff Horn, who fought for the first time outside of his native Australia last night in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against challenger Terence Crawford.
Horn, 30, lost his WBO welterweight title as most expected and was thoroughly dominated in the process before the match was mercifully stopped in the ninth round giving Crawford the TKO win.
Crawford, now a three-time division boxing champion, improved to 33-0 (24 KOs) while Horn drops to 18-1-1 (12 KOs). It was a statement performance, which is sure to turn heads and prove that the Omaha man belongs in the talent-rich welterweight division.
The eventual outcome was never in doubt as Crawford fought from a southpaw stance and put on a virtual clinic winning every round of the fight whilst landing the harder shots. Horn struggled all night to get his offense going and was reduced to leaping right hands after his patented left hand was completely neutralized by Crawford’s high guard.
CompuBox punch stats showed that Crawford outlanded Horn by a staggering 47-16 in rounds one through three. A stiff jab and stinging lead left caused most of the damage and resulted in pronounced bleeding above Horn’s right eye in the fourth round.
Bud really started to walk the champion down in the fifth round appearing increasingly confident in coming forward and letting his hands go. Horn’s body language started to turn negative but he had the wits to tie the challenger up.
By rounds sixth and seventh, Horn started to regroup and landed some shots but Crawford countered everything he could muster. By this time, Horn did not have anything on his punches and his footwork looked sluggish.
A big left hand upstairs in the eighth round visibly hurt Horn and energized the crowd. Horn showed tremendous heart but you had to wonder when his corner might intervene to save him from further punishment because the contest was beginning to turn into a massacre.
The end finally came in the ninth round after Crawford landed two right hands and a left that forced him to touch his gloves to the canvas for a knockdown. Crawford backed Horn into the ropes moments later and pounded him with both hands before referee Robert Byrd halted the action at 2 minutes and 33 seconds.
ホーン×クロフォード＝決着シーン RT @ryansongalia Terence Crawford (@budcrawford402) finishes off a tough Jeff Horn in dominant fashion to win the WBO welterweight title with a ninth round TKO #HornCrawford pic.twitter.com/Uv2AVOh8No
— MMA.vaobhr (@vaobhr) June 10, 2018
Above: the moment Crawford bought the show to an end.
Crawford was the smaller man but certainly did not fight like it.
Horn, the now deposed former champion, faces an uncertain future having fallen well short of his goal to pull off another monumental upset after controversially outpointing the legendary Manny Pacquiao last July.
The Aussie had felt before the fight that he was being used as a “pawn” by Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum to help set up Crawford as the next big thing in American boxing.
That premonition was probably well founded at the time but there can be no argument that the better man won last night.
The former teacher can take solace in the fact that he came to fight, left everything in the ring, and will receive a hefty payday for his efforts.
In the end, Crawford was just too smart, too accurate and too good.