Ray of hope in hard work for Horn
RAY Robinson is one of the few fighters to beat the great American Terence Crawford and after 10 torrid rounds of sparring he says Jeff Horn can be the next.
Robinson, 32, the world's No.11 welterweight, is in Brisbane to help our world champ turbocharge his preparation for the superfight with Crawford in Las Vegas on June 10 (Qld time).
Thursday's sparring was as intense as a world-title fight, with southpaw Robinson still trying to take Horn's head off with a fierce volley at the end of their 10-round session.
In the 2005 US National Amateur Championships at Colorado Springs, Robinson scored a 22-18 win over Crawford in their 57kg fight and now says Horn can hand Crawford his first defeat in the professional ranks.
Crawford also lost in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics against Sadam Ali and Miguel Gonzalez and Robinson says there are plenty of flaws to expose.
"Crawford's a great fighter, pinpoint accurate with his punches, but he's beatable and I proved that,'' Robinson said after his gruelling battle at Horn's Stretton gym.
"I think Jeff is going to surprise a lot of people. Bookies might have Crawford the favourite but anyone can make predictions sitting behind a desk. When you're in there with Jeff it's a different story.
"No one knows how Terence Crawford will react when Jeff hits him. Jeff is a very strong guy and hits hard. Crawford is not super strong but he's very accurate with his punches. He has pinpoint accuracy, he's a sharpshooter but with Jeff coming at him from all sorts of angles and putting on so much pressure it's going to be tough for Terence.''
In sparring on Monday, Horn decked his 2012 Olympic teammate Cameron Hammond and badly injured rising star Andrew Hunt and although there were no knockdowns yesterday the action was ferocious as Horn sparred 10 rounds with Crawford and two with Brisbane's Ben Kite.
Robinson did his best to mimic Crawford's strategy of hitting on the retreat and making opponents overreach so they stumble into his counterpunches.
He will spar with Horn three more times before the fight and says by the end of it Horn will be ready to shock the world again.
"Jeff just has to listen to his corner, go out there and fight his style and don't wait for Crawford, don't hesitate'' Robinson said. "If he does that he can win.''
Horn was delighted by all the hard work the American gave him as he prepares to defend his WBO welterweight title.
"Ray's sharp and fit, exactly what I need,'' Horn said. "He came here ready to fight hard and he was still swinging big punches at me right until the end.''
Horn said he felt much more advanced in his preparation than he did at the same time in the lead-up to his win over Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium last year.