American boxer Terence Crawford is so disgusted by the tactics of Jeff Horn and his team that he will go out in a bid to “kill and destroy” the undefeated Australian in Las Vegas on June 9 (June 10 local time).
Crawford, regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, will do battle with Horn for the world welterweight title at the MGM Grand Casino in one of the most-anticipated bouts of the year.
While it is no surprise to see two boxing rivals trash-talking each other in the build-up to a fight, Crawford and his trainer, Brian McIntyre, are particularly disappointed with the strategies Horn and his team have used in recent weeks.
Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, famously called Crawford “a princess” for pulling out of the originally scheduled fight, on April 14, due to a minor hand injury, while the Aussie’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, taunted the American last week.
Among a series of inflammatory comments, Lonergan urged Crawford to reconsider his decision to wear thinly-padded horsehair gloves – as opposed to the usual foam gloves – or he would be “nursing his broken eye socket or possibly a broken jaw”.
Enraged with the commentary, McIntyre fought fire with fire on Fox Sports.
“All my fighters have that attitude of wanting to kill and destroy, seek and destroy, because we come from nothing,” he said.
“The pressure’s on Horn, but I don’t give a damn where the pressure’s at because Horn’s still getting his a– whipped.
“I’m gonna look right at his coach [Rushton] and say ‘you a—–e’. I tried to tell you that we was gonna win – you been talking all that s–t, putting all that s–t in the newspaper, all that s–t on social media.
“You didn’t have a clue what you were going up against.
“I think Horn and his coach are scared because they know that Terence Crawford is going to whip Jeff Horn’s butt.”
And while McIntyre acknowledged Horn was a “determined fighter”, he was insistent the Queenslander would bring out the best in Crawford.
“He [Horn] don’t have much skills,” he said.
“He bounces around a lot, but he comes to fight every single fight. He does come in shape. That’s the good part about him. He will come and challenge.
“He will challenge Terence and that’s great because we need the best out of Terence this fight and Horn will bring the best out of Terence. I just can’t wait to shut his coach up and get my hands on that belt.”
Crawford was slightly more complimentary of Horn’s skills but added: “Their little tactics, what they’re doing and what they are saying is not going to get me off my game plan or distract me at all.
“I feel good. I feel strong.
“I can give Horn all he wants. If he wants to absorb the punishment, so be it.”
Horn, who is trying to defend the welterweight title he took from Filipino great Manny Pacquiao last year, has been relatively quiet in recent days as he recovers from a minor car accident on Wednesday.
Horn was hit from behind in Brisbane and was not seriously hurt, telling News Corp that the incident was a “shock but nothing is going to derail me from beating Terence Crawford”.
“I’m very fit. I feel I’m going to peak right at fight time,” he added.
While Horn feels confident, boxing icons and bookmakers do not fancy his chances.
Legendary trainer Freddie Roach predicted last month that Horn would “last one round” and Sportsbet has him as a $6 chance to win.
Crawford, who famously survived a gunshot wound, is a $1.13 chance of claiming victory.