Three big bouts from as many venues are coming this weekend.
On Saturday, June 9 Jeff Horn (18-0, 12 KO’s) will defend his WBO Welterweight title against veteran Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KO’s) in Las Vegas.
There has never been a boxer with a more apropos moniker than “Horn.”
He has the aggressive style of a white rhinoceros. He leads with his head, gores his opponents, and butts as much as he punches.
Horn won the title in July of 2017 in a rip-off unanimous decision (UD) over Manny Pacquiao.
Manny landed twice as many punches, at twice the connect rate. He should have won by no less than three points…“should have” being the key phrase.
All three judges saw it in favor of Horn (117-111 and 115-113, twice).
Horn’s first title defense was against Gary Corcoran, a scrapper just as undisciplined as is Horn.
It shook out just as you would imagine: clenching, hitting while holding, wrist raking, forearm slashing, elbow banging and all the head butting that they could get away with.
Corcoran suffered cuts over both eyes that were so bad the fight was stopped and Horn was awarded a TKO victory.
Terence Crawford has superior ring-smarts. He can make adjustments mid-round, switch from orthodox to southpaw, and tailors an appropriate offense and defense to his opponent.
He worked his way through the Super Lightweight ranks dispatching his last victim (another scrapper) in three rounds. After a 10-month layoff Crawford returns to the ring in the Welterweight division.
The bout with Horn is the classic “boxer/brawler” match up, which tends to provide a very exciting fight.
If Crawford can stay clear of the head-butting he will pick Horn apart from the outside.
The contest for the WBA Super Featherweight title is right here in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Leo Santa Cruz (34-1, 19 KO’s) puts his belt on the line in a rematch with Abner Mares (31-2, 15 KO’s).
These two met in 2015 in an amazing, all-out effort from both boxers.
When the opening bell rang Mares shot across the ring…bullets have left guns slower.
Over 2,000 punches were thrown (collectively) in a bout that went the distance. Two judges had it 117-111 for Santa Cruz, which is absolutely reasonable, but the third “judge” had it a 114-114 tie.
That guy needs to be shaken right out of his shoes and never allowed near a boxing match again. Fortunately, the right guy won.
Since that time Santa Cruz suffered the only loss of his career (majority decision) in a bout with Carl Frampton.
Six months later Santa Cruz won their rematch by MD.
Mares has only fought twice in the last two years winning by split decision and technical decision, respectively.
Saturday’s bout will probably reflect their first meeting; it will be close in the early frames and Santa Cruz will pull away in the stretch.
Heavyweight Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KO’s) returns to the ring after a two-and-a-half year absence.
Fury’s last bout (it can’t be called a “fight”) was against Wladimir Klitschko
Fury hardly threw any punches, landing only seven per round…and Klitschko was worse.
They were both afraid of being hit, so they stayed on the outside for the most part. When they did close the distance they wrapped up, clinched and waltzed around until the judge had to separate them like a chaperone at a prom.
Fury won by UD.
Afterwards he had a meltdown of epic proportions. Suffering from depression he tested positive for an assortment of prohibited substances, including cocaine.
Fury was stripped of his titles and suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control.
He’s been reinstated and will face Sefer Seferi (23-1, 21 KO’s) in Manchester, on Saturday.
Seferi looks formidable because of his record. But at 39, he’s 10 years older than Fury…and probably 10 inches shorter.
But anything could happen.
God Bless and enjoy the sweet science.
Mark Felicetti has never been asked to chaperone anything. Reach him at email@example.com.