Terence Crawford will fight for the welterweight title in his first bout in the division, and after reviewing his scheduled opponent Wednesday, Crawford sounds confident he’ll remain unbeaten.
Australian Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 knockouts) retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt Wednesday by stopping England’s Gary Corcoran via 11th-round technical knockout in Brisbane, Australia.
Promoter Bob Arum said he plans for his fighters Crawford and Horn to square off in April in Las Vegas, most likely at T-Mobile Arena.
“Jeff Horn did what he had to do to get the job done tonight, but I’m a totally different fighter than Gary Corcoran,” Nebraska’s Crawford said in a statement distributed by his publicist.
“I have more power and more speed than Corcoran. When he [Horn] steps into the ring with me, it’s going to be a very different story.
“When I move up to the 147-pound division, everyone is going to see a bigger, stronger fighter and a harder puncher than they saw at 140 pounds. I plan to do the same thing at 147 that I did at 135 and 140, and clean out the division.”
That would be quite an accomplishment, considering unbeatens Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. are wearing the other welterweight belts.
First, Crawford will start with Horn, who fought Wednesday for the first time since upsetting former seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in front of 51,000 fans in July.
In a smaller, 6,000-seat arena in Brisbane, Horn was more productive and effective with his punches, landing almost twice as many shots (80-42) over the last five rounds, and making a point to target the nasty cut beside the challenger’s left eye that required a doctor’s examination.
In the 11th, Corcoran’s corner motioned to referee Benji Esteves that their fighter had had enough, stopping the bout 1 minute, 35 seconds into the round.
Glenn Rushton, Horn’s trainer, said afterward that he sees vulnerability in Crawford, who ranks as The Times’ No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter and will contend with super-featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko as the Boxing Writers Assn. of America’s fighter of the year.
“There are holes in everybody’s game,” Crawford said. “There’s a lot of holes in Jeff Horn’s game, and everyone will see that when he gets in the ring with me.
“In 2018, I’m going to continue to be successful. I feel like I’m getting better each and every time I step foot into the ring and I know that will continue next year in my new weight division.”