Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez was supposed to be the biggest fight of the summer, but since that one is cancelled, boxing fans will have to look to another bout to provide the most excitement. The fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder won’t happen soon, if it does happen, and star light heavyweights Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack couldn’t find a finish, leaving many fans disappointed with a draw.
However, there’s one more fight that fans can look to as the one that will define this summer.
They say that belts don’t mean anything in boxing, but when Terence Crawford takes on Jeff Horn, there’s more than a belt on the line. Both fighters are undefeated. Crawford sits at 32-0 and reached that mark after scoring a brutal knockout in his home state, last August.
Horn, the less experienced of the two, is 18-0-1 but shouldn’t be underestimated. Last July, he shocked the world by taking down fan favorite and all-time great Manny Pacquiao after showing tremendous heart to not get knocked out in the late rounds.
Horn fought again last year, defeating British welterweight Gary Corcoran in another hometown fight to further solidify his position as a champion. This time, however, he won’t have the luxury of fighting in front of his home crowd. Crawford has the larger resume, and Horn will have to travel to Vegas to fight in front of a crowd that will favor the American.
In fact, the location of the bout is already playing into some mind games, with Horn claiming that the Americans are trying to rattle him by making him train at an overheated gym. “I got off the long flight from Brisbane and did a few rounds to loosen up but it was just too hot to train in that gym for too long. I could have damaged myself. Who builds a brick and tin gym in the desert with no air conditioning anyway?”
Horn also mentioned stopping Crawford in the first round, but that’s a stretch. The statistics make Crawford the more likely one to get a finish, as he’s had seven stoppages in his last nine bouts. Last time out, it only took him three rounds to knock out Julius Indongo, making his opponent look like an amateur towards the end.
Horn has a chin, and showed it when he beat Pacquiao, but he hasn’t faced a puncher like Crawford that can beat you with movement before finishing you with a body shot.
No matter who the winner is, it’s almost certain that someone will get knocked out. But it should also be a close fight with a lot of action. Horn is being slept on by a lot of fans, but his weight advantage will keep the matchup interesting.
There’s still a chance, however, that Crawford ends the fight with one quick combination. It’s hard to predict this one, we’ll just have to wait until Saturday to see who wins.
But it’s more likely than not, that regardless of the winner, fans will leave feeling like they just watched the fight of the summer.