Horn reveals Crawford’s classy moment
JEFF Horn will leave Las Vegas on Monday but the Fighting Schoolteacher says he will do his homework and study even harder for his next tough exam in the boxing capital of the world.
Horn gave himself a "fail'' for his ninth-round stoppage loss on Sunday against the toughest examiner of all, Terence Crawford, the world's best boxer pound for pound and now the WBO welterweight champion.
He will spend the next three weeks holidaying in Canada with his wife, mother and his wife's parents.
Horn was all smiles at the MGM Grand yesterday, scene of his worst nightmare, and said he felt fine after putting ice on the 26 stitches around his eyes. He wants to fight in Vegas again sometime to show that he has more talent than he displayed in his debut here.
"I know I can do much better,'' Horn said.
"I just didn't bring my A game. I'm disappointed but I just have to rebuild from here.
"I still have the hunger. I still feel I can match the best. I stayed nine rounds with Crawford and he's the best out there.
"I felt off a bit gassy at the start of the fight. I think that's nerves and he just outfought me.''
He said Crawford was much more gracious in victory than he had been in the lead-up to the bout.
"We were sitting next to each other when the doctor was checking us out after the fight and he said 'oh man you punched the hell out of me' and I said 'you punched the hell out of me, look at my face'.''
Horn said he still had a lot to prove in the sport and that defeat would only galvanise him to try harder next time.
"This was my first professional loss but I've lost fights in the amateurs and I've had defeats in everyday life but you just have to overcome it. I have other layers to my skills but I didn't show that against Crawford. He was so fast.''
After the fight promoter Bob Arum was grinning like a Cheshire cat after his company Top Rank regained the welterweight title Horn had taken from another of their fighters, Manny Pacquiao.
Arum said Crawford, now a three-time world champ from just 33 starts, was the equal "or better'' of another Top Rank boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard, the great star of the 1980s.
Horn said the American was too crafty.
"He was very good on the backfoot, very good at counter-fighting. I always knew he would be crafty and skilful but I didn't realise how hard he would be to catch,'' Horn said.
Fighting before a hostile crowd at the MGM Grand was a far different feeling for him than to entering the ring on a tide of emotion at Suncorp Stadium, where he beat Pacquiao last year.
"I wasn't used to the boos that's for sure,'' he said.
He would not rule out a fight with Anthony Mundine and reiterated that he wanted to make as much money from boxing while he could and that consideration of his health was paramount.
All-time great trainer Johnny Lewis called The Courier-Mail yesterday to say that he hoped Horn would not fight at welterweight again but rather head to the higher junior-middleweight division.
"Crawford just had too much of everything, except courage'' Lewis said.
"Crawford is no Sugar Ray Leonard but he is still very talented. I thought the referee did a good job and Jeff did not get hurt so he will learn from the experience.''
Horn said he felt he still had plenty of fight left in him when the bout was halted.
"The referee (Robert Byrd) was very cautious. he didn't want me to get tagged and it was a fair call. Possibly by the end of the year I'll have another fight.''
Horn said he wanted another world title crack as soon as possible, hopefully in Las Vegas
"I don't want to lose here and that be the end of it,'' he said. "I would like to come back here and win a big fight.''
Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton said he was waiting for the one big punch from Horn that could have changed the fight but it never came.
"Jeff was just that little bit off with his timing but in the end that made all the difference.''