Analyst Mark Kriegel has aired his views on what is being billed as the coronation of Terence Crawford as a three-weight world champion.
Crawford challenge Jeff Horn for the WBO title, bidding to reign from 135 to 147 pounds on the back of unifying the super-lightweight division previously.
Barring taking Horn lightly, Kriegel sees Crawford as the overwhelming favorite and expects to see a new world ruler at welterweight by the end of Saturday night.
“We said much the same a year ago about Horn versus Pacquiao. I think that in terms of the disparity of size, experience, skill level — experience and skill level, that at the end of the day I think that it was Horn who made us aware that Manny was coming up against the limits of his size and his age.” said Kriegel.
“All that being said, and I’ve watched Crawford now spar with big guys, 178-pounders, I think that once he does find his rhythm and the timing, the punch that will cause the great damage to Horn will be the right hook.
“Almost like a check hook when he’s on his way in. But that’s the one shot that I’ve seen him sparring bigger guys with.
“Another thing to bear in mind is that Pacquiao has seen better days. He’s not — he’s at the far end of his prime, and Crawford is just entering his. I don’t think we’ve seen close to what the best Terence Crawford we can get.
“If Horn takes it as personally as Timothy (Bradley) did, the lack of respect he got from beating Pacquiao, we’re in for a hell of a fight.
“If you look at how Tim reacts and how personal and the desperation with which he came out, not from winning but from not getting his respect, if Horn brings something like that, we’re in for a hell of a night,” he added.
Horn v Crawford is live on ESPN+ this Saturday night