JEFF Horn has undergone secret hand strengthening drills to make his fists as hard as house bricks as he prepares to hurl them at American challenger Terence Crawford in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Brisbane product was warmly received by the small crowd gathered at the MGM Grand casino for his open workout - but he's prepared for jeers come fight night against Terence Crawford on Sunday morning (AEST). It was a really good shot and he saw the opportunity and was trying to seize on it. "He threw everything he could at Jeff".
Horn, 30, has been the subject of intense criticism ever since scoring a controversial unanimous points decision over Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane a year ago. I've made this mistake before. "When (Carl) Frampton won (in 2016), he fought two times, one a split-decision win and the other a decision that arguably could have gone the other way. People are saying Horn pushed around Pacquiao but he won't do that to me". "I have the experience, and I'm looking forward to Saturday".
"So it's the referee, it's the corner, it's Jeff, it's Pacquiao. I've heard it before that I'm a chump and a fraud of the welterweight division and I'm just there to prove everyone wrong". Horn was bloodied, battered and bruised, but still in it.
"But now I'm going over to where they all speculated and I'm fighting one of the best fighters they have". The judges will be watching Terence Crawford and watching me as well.
"I have already pictured myself winning this fight", he said.
Just as Rushton was breathing a sigh of relief, it nearly all came crashing back down. I'm not surprised I am the underdog.
"Look, I'm surprised I'm as big of an underdog as I am for the fight", Horn said during a press conference Thursday at MGM Grand.
But Crawford is fighting now, not 10 or 20 years hence, and it remains to be seen how he reacts to viewership numbers that nearly certainly will again have him performing in the lengthening shadow cast by Lomachenko. I won't be making that same mistake.
"I've just got to fight my heart out, and that's all I can do". So Horn agreed to a good payday to fight away from the comfort of home against a fighter some consider the top pound-for-pound boxer in the game.
"Then I turned to Jeff and said 'you need to listen to me, we've trained for a big finish, get back to the plan". You've gotta show him. With blood dripping down his face, Horn walked out, met Pacquiao in the middle of the ring and held his own for another nine minutes.
"When I got him back at the end of the 10th, I said we're either up by a point or it's square".
"That was being generous to Pacquiao".
"It's just people's opinions", Crawford responded when the matter was brought up, as he probably expected it would be.
Brisbane's world champ has also spent the last 16 weeks concentrating on explosive plyometric exercises to ensure his foot speed has gone to a new level, presenting Crawford with angles so sharp they could cut.
So, did he ever think that maybe this was the mouthful that would choke him?
"When he was about 12 or 13, he never lost after that", he said. He was very effective, he had a great chin and he could hit like a mule. "I'm not just lying around and sitting on the couch".
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