PRO­MOTER: ‘SOME­ONE COULD DIE’

Gloves off in Horn camp’s warn­ing to Craw­ford

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - GRANTLEE KIEZA

JEFF Horn’s mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar world ti­tle fight against Amer­i­can Ter­ence Craw­ford is un­der threat af­ter the pro­moter of Aus­tralia’s world champ warned that some­one could die us­ing the con­tro­ver­sial box­ing gloves pro­posed for the grudge bout.

Horn’s pro­moter, Dean Lon­er­gan, has echoed the grave fears of the great Floyd May­weather, say­ing the Ever­last MX gloves that use horse hair as a fill­ing in­stead of foam should be banned.

Horn is due to re­ceive $2.5 mil­lion for risk­ing his World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion wel­ter­weight ti­tle against the un­beaten Amer­i­can at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Ve­gas on June 9.

The MX gloves are known as “puncher’s gloves’’ be­cause the fill­ing can be pushed back to­wards the wrist so that fight­ers have very lit­tle pad­ding over their fists, mak­ing the im­pact of a punch the same force as a bare-knuckle blow.

Through­out his ca­reer, May­weather, who compiled a 50-0 pro­fes­sional record and the great­est for­tune of any fighter in box­ing his­tory, re­fused to take part in fights where horse­hair gloves were used.

He fa­mously banned his last op­po­nent Conor McGre­gor from us­ing them even though McGre­gor was a box­ing novice.

May­weather fa­mously said of horse­hair gloves: “There ain’t no pad­ding in the gloves. This is box­ing, not bare-knuckle brawl­ing. It is sup­posed to be a sport, even if it’s a bru­tal sport.

When Horn and trainer Glenn Rush­ton heard Craw­ford was go­ing to use the MX gloves, they im­me­di­ately vol­un­teered to do the same, say­ing the gloves would suit Horn more be­cause he is the big- ger fighter and heav­ier puncher. But Lon­er­gan said he had “a duty of care’’ to both box­ers.

Last night Lon­er­gan wrote to Craw­ford’s pro­moter, Bob Arum, and a num­ber of lead­ing of­fi­cials to de­mand that the MX gloves be dropped for the fight. He wrote: “Bob, it has come to my at­ten­tion that Ter­ence Craw­ford is go­ing to fight on June 9 in a cus­tom Ever­last MX horse­hair glove and as a re­sult Jeff Horn will be do­ing the same.

“Horn has never fought in horse­hair gloves be­fore and is do­ing so only be­cause Craw­ford is choos­ing to. Jeff usu­ally wears the Ever­last Pow­er­lock, which is a foam glove.

“Af­ter com­plet­ing re­search on this is­sue I am very much against this horse­hair type of glove be­ing used on June 9 and I think we should put pres­sure on Craw­ford to not use this type of glove. If Craw­ford doesn’t wear the Ever­last MX horse­hair glove and re­verts to a foam glove, Horn

will re­vert to his usual foam-padded glove. I think we as pro­mot­ers have a care of duty to our fight­ers, and there is no doubt that the horse­hair glove, par­tic­u­larly the Ever­last MX, is a bru­tal glove, el­e­vat­ing the fight past box­ing to what the great­est de­fen­sive fighter of all time, Floyd May­weather, de­scribes as bare-knuckle brawl­ing.’’

Lon­er­gan also sent the let­ter to Craw­ford’s man­ager, Brian McIntyre, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ne­vada State Ath­letic com­mis­sion Bob Ben­nett, the pres­i­dent of the WBO Fran­cisco “Paco’’ Var­car­cel and Aus­tralia’s WBO rep­re­sen­ta­tive Danny Leigh.

Lon­er­gan, a for­mer New Zea­land rugby league Test for­ward, said: “I would also ask the ques­tion, ‘If these gloves are used, and there is a se­ri­ous in­jury or worse and it comes down to the dif­fer­ence in the type of glove used, who car­ries li­a­bil­ity for the out­come and what will that li­a­bil­ity be?’

“Jeff Horn won’t stop no mat­ter how much pain he is in. He will keep go­ing. Craw­ford should be ex­tremely con­cerned about fac­ing Jeff Horn with these

gloves.”

Aus­tralia’s fear­less World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion wel­ter­weight champ Jeff Horn.

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