Horn warned over possible Crawford bout
AUSTRALIA'S most successful boxing trainer has urged world champ Jeff Horn not to fight Terence Crawford next April if he is struggling to make the welterweight limit.
Johnny Lewis, who trained Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu among many others to multiple world championships, says he would hate to see a "weight drained'' Horn trying to cope with the speed and skills of the American, who is unbeaten in 32 fights.
Horn earned $1 million by stopping Englishman Gary Corcoran in 11 rounds on Wednesday night in Brisbane and Lewis urged him to take the "easy money'' against Anthony Mundine and worry about big name Americans later in 2018.
"Jeff Horn looked so drained at the weigh-in for the Corcoran fight it was like he'd had a bout with Count Dracula the night before,'' said Lewis, 73, who this year was inducted into New York's International Boxing Hall of Fame.
"He looked emaciated. Jeff Horn has been the best thing to happen to Australian sport in a long time and I would hate to see him fight Crawford seriously disadvantaged.
"Jeff relies so much on his huge mental strength to keep pushing through. I'm not saying he can't beat Crawford but it's madness to give him such a huge headstart.''
Horn-Crawford is being proposed for April 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and Crawford, the former world lightweight (61lkg) and junior-welterweight (63kg) champ, is licking his lips in anticipation
"I'm ready for the shot, ready for April,'' Crawford said. "I'm ready to display my talent, my skills, my power moving up in the welterweight division. I'm looking forward to Jeff Horn bringing everything he has and I'm looking forward to being undisputed (welterweight) champion.''
Lewis says while Horn seems to be struggling to make the 66.68kg welterweight limit and had to lose 4kg the day before the fight, Crawford will be strong, coming up from the light-welterweight division and putting on weight.
Lewis said a boxer could only get away with fighting weight-drained for so long.
"Then it catches up with you,'' Lewis said. "Gary Corcoran was hitting Jeff with a lot of lead right hands the other night that shouldn't have been landing.
"If I was advising Jeff I'd say forget what Crawford or his promoter Bob Arum want, you cut the best deal you can and fight Mundine and then suit yourself after that.
"If you're having trouble at welterweight, move up to junior-middleweight (70kg) because there's probably even more money for you up there.''
He said a fight with Mundine would "capture the imagination of the whole country''.
Mundine has been sparring rising super-middleweight Bilal Akkawy in preparation for a return to boxing on January 17 against former world featherweight title challenger Tommy Browne at Sydney's Star Casino. Akkawy has had the upper hand so far.