Arum: Crawford as good or better than Leonard

By David Robinett

Following his impressive ninth-round stoppage victory over formerly unbeaten Jeff Horn, newly minted WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and his promoter Bob Arum spoke at the post-fight press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jeff Horn was delayed while receiving stitches in his dressing room and did not join the main portion of the press conference.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“About the second or third round I knew I was the stronger guy,” responded Crawford, when asked when he felt he was in control of the fight. “I knew his [Horn] punches couldn’t hurt me, I hit him with a right hook that really hurt him and I knew then it was just a matter of time.”

Crawford also explained that Horn did not offer any surprises in the ring. “He did everything we expected him to do. We knew how he was going to come. There’s only so much you can change when you fight one style and one style only, so we knew how the fight was going to go.”

Crawford added, “He came in there with the intention of roughing me up and getting aggressive but the thing he didn’t understand was how strong I was, so I think they underestimated that aspect.”

Crawford also spoke to the questions before the fight of whether or not he would be able to hold his own at welterweight against the bigger Horn. “We knew what we were up against, we dealt with bigger, stronger, faster sparring partners in training camp that were relentless and didn’t back up, which helped me prepare for tonight,” said Crawford. “I feel like this is a great division for me, I feel like I’m stronger and more energized at 147.”

Additionally, Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum could hardly contain his praise for his newest pound-for-pound star. “He reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard and that is a great compliment because I always thought Leonard was the best,” gushed Arum. “And I think he is as good or better than Leonard was.”

For his part, Crawford was a little more even-keeled, but also confident in his future. “Right now we’re going to go home and enjoy this win,” said Crawford. “We’ve been out of the ring for a long time and we’re happy to be back.”

When asked about a potential matchup against welterweight hotshot Errol Spence, Jr., Crawford smiled as he answered. “I believe I’d do well with Errol Spence. I believe I’d do well with any fighter in the welterweight division. I felt like I just displayed my talent and my power. He [Horn] was supposed to be a big welterweight and you saw how I dealt with him.”

Arum added a note about Crawford’s schedule too, in light of Top Rank’s new agreement with ESPN and its multiple platforms like ESPN+, which broadcast tonight’s card. “We’re going to have Bud [Crawford] fight as many times as he and BoMac [Crawford trainer Brian McIntyre] want. If he wants to fight three fights a year or four fights a year, we have the dates for him. It’s up to him how busy he wants to be.”

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