He’s a champ, not a chump

By Robert Ecksel on June 7, 2018
He’s a champ, not a chump
Horn has studied Crawford. He knows what to expect. He knows what Crawford brings.

For Horn and Crawford to go down in history for THAT, instead of their in-ring prowess, speaks volumes about misplaced priorities…

On Saturday, June 9, in a fight televised live on ESPN+ from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs), the Fighting Pride of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, defends his title against Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), the undefeated two-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska, in his premier fight in the talent-rich welterweight division.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum has been around forever. He was promoting fights in the 1980s when the welterweights, spearheaded by the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, loomed large on the boxing landscape. 

“Now,” said Arum on a recent conference call, “there are a lot of great welterweights out there. Two of them are fighting on Saturday, and there’s Errol Spence, who is a terrific fighter, Thurman, Porter and Garcia.” Arum rattled off a few more names. Then someone asked about Pacquiao.

Arum didn’t respond at once. He chose his words with care.

“There is Manny Pacquiao,” he laughed. “Well, he is more of a politician, but he is a fighter, I guess.”

Since their first fight was controversial, a rematch with Horn seemed a natural. But Manny wasn’t interested.

“It was a tough first fight and I do think I learned a lot from that,” Horn said, “and I won even though they thought they got the decision. We had many people watch the fight again and took out the commentary and they can see that I won the fight so there are no complaints there. I think I would do better the second time against him, and I think he knows that as well.”

Arum agreed.

“Well, for whatever reason, he didn’t want the fight again. I couldn’t get him to commit to a rematch and it’s as simple as that.”

Win, lose or draw, too few people will see Horn and Crawford fight Saturday night, what with the ESPN+ app blocking the view. Arum defended the situation, in a lawyerly manner, with the light touch for which he is best known.

“Well,” he said, “you can’t hold back the future and the future is direct to consumer. The future is ESPN+, where I believe in the next 10 to 20 years everyone will be watching their entertainment on direct to consumer platforms. Like Netflix in entertainment, ESPN+ will be the place for sports in abundance. To fans now in the United States and around the world, it is the future. Get used to it. Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford will go down in history as the two fighters who are the first to fight in this direct to consumer sports entertainment space.”

For Horn and Crawford to go down in history for THAT, instead of their in-ring prowess, speaks volumes about misplaced priorities.

Horn, however, has been studying Crawford. He knows what to expect. He knows what Crawford brings.                                                                                                     

“Crawford can fight any style and switch positions,” explained Horn. “It is a little bit easier to have a southpaw that you just chase around the whole time, whereas Crawford is switching back and forth all the time. We can have orthodox and southpaws in sparring as with any type of fighter that may not have the skills, but will have that style that can stop, move and switch and bang you on the head.”

That style can baffle lesser men. But Horn is no lesser man. He’s a champ, not a chump, and bafflement is not an option, unless of course he has no choice.

“I have just prepared myself my whole career to fight in a way that the other guy doesn’t know what you’re doing. I’m hoping he can’t figure me out throughout this whole fight because what if I change up and hopefully he’s still trying to figure me out in round 12? That’s the plan, to keep changing things up and he can adjust and try to figure out what I’m doing.”

Anyway, that’s the plan.

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  1. Ollie Downtown Brown 03:28pm, 06/07/2018

    Crazy Charlie had a set of eyes no doubt. There is an ex-MMA fighter,  Jay Freeman, who claimed to be the grandson of Charlie and the son of Charles Manson Jr. The Klitschko brothers were way too smart to be taken in by someone like Don King. I’m sure the brothers had a big laugh about that meeting with DK.

  2. Lucas McCain 01:40pm, 06/07/2018

    I recall the Tony Soprano character referring to “Manson lamps”— the stare of Charles Manson—but that may include a flicker of malevolence.  Shakespeare’s Macbeth says something similar about the dead eyes of the ghost of Banquo when his murdered friend comes back to haunt him.  “No speculation in those eyes” he says.
    My favorite Don King anecdote is sillier: His attempt to impress the young cultured Klitschkos by playing a little Mozart (or was it Beethoven?) on a big grand piano when he had them over to his house for negotiations.  They examined the piano when Don left the room and found it was a modern player piano.  Then they knew they would never sign with him.

  3. Ollie Downtown Brown 08:22am, 06/07/2018

    Lucas McCain… Nice quote. Have to remember that one. I heard a guy the other day say, “Just because you pour maple syrup on a turd doesn’t make it a pancake.” haha. Don’t know if that was one of my friend’s original thoughts, but I like that one as well. They say you can tell a lot about a person by looking in their eyes. Take a look at the peepers on Don King. He has soulless eyes devoid of empathy or pity. I remember reading how a female reporter described the eyes of former Green Bay Packer draft pick turned serial killer, Randall Woodfield aka the I-5 Killer. She described Woodfield as quite good looking, but when he looked at her she noticed his eyes were flat, dead eyes, “shark eyes.” She said it was like looking into the eyes of a shark, no emotion at all, totally empty, devoid of any compassion. She said she had never seen eyes like that on a human being before or since then.

  4. Lucas McCain 08:02am, 06/07/2018

    “Some will rob you with a six-gun; some with a fountain pen.”  So said Woody Guthrie.  Following Ollie’s remark, I guess getting screwed works the same way, where the fountain pen comes in place of the usual implement.  But then, where does that leave Don King?

  5. Ollie Downtown Brown 06:11am, 06/07/2018

    Bob Arum is the Harvey Weinstein of boxing.

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