When all is said and done there's nothing left to say or do, per loquacious NBA legend, Darryl Dawkins. Concluding the WBO Welterweight championship fight between Terence "Bud" Crawford and Jeff "The Hornet" Horn, all the barking and chirping from Team Horn was irrelevant. In his first bout at 147 pounds, Crawford let his fists do the talking, culminating in a one-sided 9th round stoppage. More than 8,000 fans assembled at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as others watched on the ESPN+ app.
Horn's trainer and promoter were the main culpritshurling boasts and promises of breaking jaws, eye sockets, being too big and strong for Crawford, etc. Acutely aware of this, "Bud" began the fight flat footed, barely moving, holding his ground and taking respect behind a southpaw jab and counters. The "Hornet" bum-rushed Crawford as he did Manny Pacquiao in his title winning effort, but Horn paid a much heftier toll for his transgressions, than Pacquiao charged.
By round 3, Crawford had clearly established his boundaries and illustrated he was more than strong enough to not only hold his own, but also control his larger opponent in the clinch. By the end of the stanza, the defending champion walked back to his corner with a cut and swollen right eye. Additionally, he’d been paused with hard right hooks, uppercuts, long left crosses, thudding hooks to the body, flurries, you name it.
There was urgency in Horn's corner preceding the 6th and brave as he was, as unwilling to capitulate as he may have been, the face bore the look of a puzzled, defeated fighter. In round 8, "Bud" turned orthodox long enough to land a lead hook to the body and lead right to the head. He switched back to southpaw and followed up with body punishment, a right hook upstairs and a stiff left cross, which hurt Horn and made him retreat. A huge lead left wobbled Horn badly, as the bell rang; best punch of the fight.
Crawford was dead-set on ending the fight in round 9. He backed Horn up with double and triple left hooks, snapped his head back with jabs and battered him with uppercuts. After a merciless fusillade of shots, a chopping left, high on the head, forced Horn to the canvas. He beat the count, but referee Robert Byrd stopped the contest moments later, perhaps a tad prematurely. There were no complaints from Horn, however.
With newly minted title belt in tow, “Bud” Crawford is now officially on a level playing field with WBA champion, Keith Thurman, IBF champion, Errol Spence, Jr., and Shawn Porter/Danny Garcia, who will vie for the vacant WBC strap this summer. Unfortunately, every other titlist is managed by Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, an entity Bob Arum and Top Rank haven’t been keen on doing business with, historically. For what it’s worth, Crawford looked Arum in his eyes during his post-fight interview alluding to wanting all the titlists eventually, punctuating it with “Bob, make it happen.”