Jeff Horn
Team Horn Embrace Fighting Terence Crawford at MSG in April

Brisbane's 'boxing schoolteacher' is in line to do what only a select few Australians have ever done before - fight at Madison Square Garden.

Horn's rapid rise to fame will continue when he meets Terence Crawford on April 14 in a mandatory defence of his WBO welterweight championship at the legendary New York City venue, where some of the sport's most iconic moments have unfolded.

The fight was targeted for April 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas - but because of a scheduling conflict with the National Hockey League the venue may no longer be available.

If a deal is finalized for MSG to be the venue, Horn will be the first Australian to headline there since Daniel Geale, who was beaten by Gennady Golovkin in their WBA (Super) and IBO middleweight title bout back in July 2014.

Some of Australia's greatest boxing talents, like Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu, never got the chance to set foot in the ring at the Manhattan boxing mecca.

Others - like Kali Meehan and Billy Dib - have fought on undercards but in becoming a main event attraction, Horn is entering truly rarefied air.

"There's so much rich history that goes with it," Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan said.

"You're on a global stage and also what this presents to Jeff is a massive opportunity going forward.

"If Jeff (can) establish himself in the American market, that's what every boxer wants.

"While the Australian market is a good market, it's not quite America, where you've got the biggest economy of the world, 300 million people and massive boxing support.

"I don't think we've seen anything like this in a very, very long time."

Horn, 29, has never fought outside Australia or New Zealand as a professional but travelled the world extensively as an amateur.

Lonergan is confident he will handle the occasion, just as he did when he beat Manny Pacquiao in front of more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium last year.

"If he was ever going to be intimidated it would have been (then) and we all saw how he went with that - totally relaxed, happy with what was going on," he said.

"Madison Square Garden only holds 22,000. I don't think the crowd size is going to worry him.

"If the crowd boo him - and I don't think they will - he'll just rise to the occasion and that'll give him some added motivation."

Lonergan expects to sign official contracts for the fight within two weeks.
Malignaggi Warns: Horn Will Not Be That Easy For Crawford
By Radio Rahim

Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi cautions that WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is going to present a tough challenge for mandatory challenger Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs).

Horn shocked Manny Pacquiao last July with an upset twelve round unanimous decision to capture the WBO world title. He retained the the title for the first time in December, with a stoppage victory over voluntary challenger Gary Corcoran of the UK.

Crawford, who previously held a world title at 135-pounds, unified the entire junior welterweight division in 2017 - and soon after announced a move to the welterweight limit of 147-pounds.

Crawford became the mandatory challenger when he officially made his move to 147.

Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Crawford and a remaining fight option on Horn, is making moves to stage the fight on April 14th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. ESPN would televise the card.

Malignaggi views Horn as the naturally bigger man, and the possibly the naturally stronger man - and disagrees with a lot of people who are already predicting a complete mismatch when the two boxers step in the ring.

Although Malignaggi admits that securing a victory over Crawford would be a huge mountain to climb for Horn.

"If Jeff Horn can upset Crawford, he's going to put himself in the picture. I know it's a big ask, but I think he's a naturally bigger guy with a very physical style against a former lightweight. It's not as easy of a fight for Crawford as people think. I think Crawford is legitimately the favorite in the fight, but you can not underestimate Horn," Malignaggi told

"If Horn came and beat Crawford, after beating Pacquiao last year, he's already put himself in as the frontrunner for 'Fighter of The Year.' I'm not going to say that's my prediction, but what I'm saying is that you should at least open up your eyes to it."
2 rounds tops.
It'll be tough. He has the blueprint after having fought Pacman. Sure, Crawford in his prime, and Manny on his last hurrah. But both Manny and Crawford are similar in that they are very quick and throw combos. I think Crawford stops him in the middle rounds.
Crawford would do pacquiao in one sided fashion at this stage of their careers imo.

I can't see horn winning this
Jeff Horn not fazed over Terence Crawford fight being moved to Vegas: I’ll fight him on the moon or in a phone box
James Slater - February 14, 2018 6 Comments

Reports say the upcoming April 14 clash between defending WBO welterweight champ Jeff Horn and challenger Terence Crawford is to be moved – back to Las Vegas, where it was first set to be fought. The switch from New York, at Madison Square Garden, has not fazed Australian Horn, even though he says he would have liked to have boxed at the historic venue where so many great fighters have done their stuff.

Speaking with The Courier Mail, the unbeaten Horn said he would fight Crawford “on the moon or in a phone box if I had to.”

“Fighting at Madison Square Garden would have been a thrill because of all the great boxing history, but I can fight there at some other time,” Horn said upon hearing the news that the big fight is now headed back to Vegas (possibly at The Mandalay Bay). “I’ve got a long career in front of me. I’m concentrating on beating Terence Crawford anywhere we fight and I’m confident I can do the job. Winning is my focus, not the venue, but it’s a frustrating time because we still don’t know if it’s really locked in to Vegas or if there will be yet another change and we’re headed back to New York. I thought being world champion would be a lot easier than this.”

Horn added how he is not sure whether or not Crawford and his team are “playing games by getting the fight moved around.” As Horn stated, the fight is just eight weeks away. Bob Arum seems to feel the fight will go ahead in Vegas, and that Manny Pacquiao will return to action on the card – possibly against the tough but shop-worn Mike Alvarado.

Pacquiao’s return will of course attract plenty of attention (as will what Pacquiaio’s plans are for after his first fight back; with big fights against the Horn-Crawford winner and even Vasyl Lomacehnko still being talked about for later this year) – but the welterweight title fight is the big draw that night. Wherever it takes place. Horn says he is training hard and remaining focused. Still, it surely can’t be a good thing for the champion to see his fight moved around again and again.

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