Pulp Fiction

By Paul Magno on June 11, 2018
Pulp Fiction
Jeff Horn may have won, but he did not really “beat” Pacquiao. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

At the end of the day, it makes one wonder about the sadder tale coming from Saturday’s otherwise outstanding night of boxing…

Jeff Horn didn’t beat Manny Pacquiao last July. Most smart boxing people acknowledged this when Horn was given the dubious decision (along with the WBO welterweight belt) in Horn’s Brisbane, Australia back yard. Even those who legitimately felt Horn had edged the Filipino icon on points knew that Horn may have won, but he did not really “beat” Pacquiao.

But boxing people didn’t raise the usual stink associated with high-profile screw jobs. Pacquiao was “old” and at the end of a long career that has become increasingly irrelevant. It was time for some new blood and Horn had such an endearing back story as the bullied youth growing up to be a champ.

Horn-Pacquiao was also a tough fight to score if you weren’t really paying attention. Cast a casual glance at the fight and you would’ve seen Horn pushing Pacquiao around for great chunks of the contest, seemingly in control of the fight, yet not actually scoring with much.

Horn, at best, came into Saturday’s bout with Terence Crawford as a pedestrian regional talent who, on one night—his best night ever as a pro—managed to give Manny Pacquiao a tough time.

Writers talked themselves into promoting Horn-Crawford as something other than a blowout, ruminating over whether Horn’s “unorthodox, unconventional” style (which often translates to “he’s so bad and unskilled that he throws his opponents off-kilter”) would give Crawford problems as the smaller man moving up in weight. Could Crawford handle Horn’s physicality and raw physical strength? It was the kind of grasping at straws done when all one has to fall back on is BoxRec and a brain full of clichés.

As expected, Horn was big and tough, and sloppy as fuck—and that’s it.

To a guy like Crawford, a few extra pounds on an opponent just means a bigger, slower target and a lack of refined skills in opposition is not as much off-putting as it is inviting.

Horn tried to do some things in there, but, realistically, what could he have done? Short of having a sniper planted in the balcony of the MGM Grand, his options for taking out Crawford were non-existent. He was going to get beaten—literally and figuratively. 

If the 30-year-old Australian had played his cards right, he could’ve parlayed Saturday’s curb stomping into a career as a blue collar, white-skinned tough guy in the mold of Arturo Gatti and fellow-Aussie Michael Katsidis. There are plenty of possible blood and guts brawls at 147 with similarly limited tough guys. The occasional fall guy payday against an elite would also surely come his way.

But Horn ruined his chances of becoming the likable hardcore battler by complaining and complaining about anything and everything from the moment he arrived in the States. From the Top Rank gym being too hot to the gloves being too tough to the referee being too quick to break clinches—Horn (and his team) became the sour-pussed vacationer ruining the five-star resort with his negative vibes. By fight night, fans who may have been willing to embrace his underdog efforts were eager to see him punched up, boxed up, and shipped back down under.

The “Hornet” won’t starve, though. He’s a big star back home and Australian boxing fans seem OK with farcical exhibitions for their favorite sons as part of an Oceania boxing ecosystem, separated from the rest of the world. So, expect Cosme Rivera, “Chop Chop” Corley, or Breidis Prescott to be flying over to Brisbane sometime soon to fight Horn for some WBU-type “world” title on Australian pay-per-view.

As for Crawford—well, the whole world should’ve been exposed to the kind of violent virtuoso performance he delivered on Saturday. THIS was the type of performance that could get mainstream sports fans talking and Crawford, with a deep, deep roster of possible high-end opposition ahead of him, is the perfect candidate for a mainstream push.

Yet, Crawford and this incredible performance were pushed off to the ESPN’s new streaming app to be enjoyed by just a few thousand fans who, for the most part, already knew how great he was.

At the end of the day, it makes one wonder about the sadder tale coming from Saturday’s otherwise outstanding night of boxing—Is it that of a fighter like Horn being beaten up and sent away or is it of a fighter like Crawford, who won in glorious fashion, but saw his efforts buried on a streaming app, behind two distinct paywalls.

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Fight Highlights: Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn

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  1. Ollie Downtown Brown 05:43am, 06/12/2018

    Crawford’s easy day at camp is on Sunday when he hikes the Manitou Incline. I have to get to those steps one day, I love challenging my old bones still on hills or in this case steps. That is supposedly Crawford’s only workout of the day on his “easy” day. The guy is supremely conditioned which is probably the most underrated aspect of fighting.

  2. Pete The Sneak 04:05am, 06/12/2018

    “Horn (and his team) became the sour-pussed vacationer ruining the five-star resort with his negative vibes.”...lol…Gotta love that line. Nice write up and I agree. Have to admit, I didn’t know much about that ESPN+ streaming crap. I looked it up to see if I had it amongst all my other cable nonsense and saw they wanted to charge $5.00 a month for it. Now I know that sounds like a pittance, but just more add on for my ever increasing cable bill. No thanks…Peace.

  3. Balaamsass 06:06pm, 06/11/2018

    Fascist fuk Mussolini DeNiro wants to fuk President Trump….little wonder….he may see himself as a Good Fellow or even Travis Bickle…..the truth of the matter is that he’s the Village People’s cowboy to the core….. assless chaps and all!

  4. Balaamsass 10:54am, 06/11/2018

    There was another fight Saturday in case you missed it. The chauvinistic fux at Staples booed the fuk out of Charlo and Trout from the opening bell because they didn’t like the way Trout was fighting and they just didn’t like Charlo ...period! The main problem with both fights though the main was hailed as the Battle of Los Angeles and the other was deemed a dud by the fanaticos in attendance was that neither Trout or Mares can hit worth a shit! The fans went loco when Leo and Abner went toe to toe at the end pounding the fuk out of each others gloves….beautiful!

  5. Your Name 10:20am, 06/11/2018

    The same thing will happen to the well marketed British fluke Joshua he ever step on our shores to fight Wilder.

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