In praise of referee Robert Byrd
Jeff Horn wasted no time and apologized to Australia after he failed in his defense of the WBO welterweight boxing crown in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Horn also praised his American conqueror, Terence Crawford, calling him a gifted and masterful warrior.
The judges awarded all the rounds to Crawford.
Horn had some bright moments in the early part, when he was able to tag Crawford a few times that sent his wife and other Australians at ringside rising and applauding.
The championship fight at the MGM Las Vegas Grand would however be a totally different story—a sharp demo on what an elite fighter is and what is not—once Crawford decided to pour it on in the middle rounds.
Crawford, smooth, sharp and powerful, showed why he had previously been tagged a very dangerous opponent for Manny Pacquiao by Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach was apt in warning against the “bigger, stronger, younger,” Crawford.
Crawford was a whole lot more than that in Las Vegas on Sunday.
He was a vision of delight, lighting the ring with his rare bronze brilliance.
It was too bad that it landed on Horn to be on the receiving end of a masterful poetic dominance by the celebrated Omaha, Nebraska, native.
Crawford took Horn’s WBO welterweight crown via ninth round technical knockout.
It was a neat and sensational title grab.
Promoter Bob Arum said the future would be unlimited for the 30-year-old Crawford, following his capture of a third world title.
Horn’s chief handler, Glenn Rushton, said he was truly amazed by Crawford’s all-around might.
Rushton, however, had some misgivings about the fight referee, Robert Byrd.
Said the self-made Australian millionaire: “Many of the rounds were very close. We were planning for a big finish. We wanted to bring it home really hard in the last two or three rounds, but that did not happen.”
Rushton said he genuinely believed referee Byrd was too hasty in calling a stop to the fight.
Byrd, as shown in the video replay, worked it very competently. He was wholly on top after Horn was floored in the ninth round.
Horn tried to make a go of it upon getting up but was met by a two-fisted assault, delivered by Crawford with measured full-knuckle shots.
Byrd promptly wrapped his arms around Horn, who again got stunned by solid punches with some 30 seconds left in the ninth.
Byrd stopped the fight to save Horn, not for anything else.
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