The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - JAMIE PANDARAM

GLOVE-GATE has now gone po­lit­i­cal, with Queens­land Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk urg­ing the Las Ve­gas gov­er­nor to ban horse­hair gloves from be­ing worn by Jeff Horn’s op­po­nent, Ter­ence Craw­ford.

The camps of the two fight­ers have been war­ring since it emerged Craw­ford planned to wear the dan­ger­ous, min­i­mally padded gloves in the world ti­tle fight at the MGM Grand against Aus­tralia’s cham­pion on June 9.

Palaszczuk has be­come so con­cerned, she has writ­ten to Las Ve­gas gov­er­nor Brian San­doval ask­ing him to help have the gloves out­lawed.

“I fear if the bout pro­ceeds with both fight­ers wear­ing horse­hair gloves [it] will be com­pro­mis­ing their safety and wel­fare,” Palaszczuk wrote.

“Gov­er­nor, I would like to make a for­mal sub­mis­sion to the Ne­vada State Ath­letic Com­mis­sion rec­om­mend­ing that it in­sist Jeff Horn and his chal­lenger, Mr Ter­ence Craw­ford, wear foam gloves.”

San­doval, a pow­er­ful Repub­li­can who some tip will be a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to re­place Don­ald Trump in 2020, ap­points the NSAC mem­bers, so Palaszczuk’s let­ter could force a late change.

Craw­ford wears Ever­last MX gloves, made from horse hair, foam and leather.

Many in box­ing cir­cles have crit­i­cised horse­hair gloves, in­clud­ing un­de­feated le­gend Floyd May­weather Jr, who re­fused to al­low Manny Pac­quiao to wear sim­i­lar gloves for the rich­est fight in his­tory be­cause there is far less pad­ding be­tween knuckle and glove.

Horn, de­fend­ing his WBO wel­ter­weight ti­tle, says if Craw­ford wears horse­hair he will too, and that could be the end of the un­beaten Amer­i­can.

“If he wants to make that de­ci­sion, he may be dig­ging his own grave with it,” Horn said.

“They’re def­i­nitely try­ing ev­ery­thing to put me off. There’s men­tal games be­cause didn’t he pull out of the fight with the hand in­jury? And now he wants these re­ally light gloves to fight in.

“It doesn’t make sense; things aren’t adding up. It’s just games they’re play­ing. They’re throw­ing ev­ery­thing in the book at us to put us off our game but I’m very men­tally strong.”

Fight pro­moter Bob Arum de­fended Craw­ford’s choice to wear Ever­last MXs in the bout.

“They are per­fectly fine gloves. Every state in the United States ap­proves those gloves,” Arum told FightHype.

“Ter­ence’s gloves have been ap­proved and if Jeff wants to use the same brand of gloves, he’s en­ti­tled to it.

“I do not be­lieve that in any way the gloves Ter­ence uses are any more dan­ger­ous than any other gloves box­ers use.”

But Horn’s pro­moter, Dean Lon­er­gan, has writ­ten to NSAC chief in­spec­tor Fran­cisco Soto de­mand­ing the gloves be banned for good.

“Fran­cisco, I am ask­ing you as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the high­est profile and most pres­ti­gious rul­ing body of fight sports in the world to leg­is­late against the use of the horse hair vari­ant of gloves and move to use of a safer glove to pro­tect all,” Lon­er­gan wrote.

“If the great­est de­fen­sive fighter of all time, Floyd May­weather, who most prob­a­bly got hit the least of any pro­fes­sional boxer, did not want to fight in or face these gloves for reasons of safety and hav­ing a lu­cid fu­ture af­ter box­ing, are we not duty-bound to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity that these are dan­ger­ous gloves and we have a duty of care to the fight­ers and the industry and out­law them?”

“They’re throw­ing ev­ery­thing in the book at us to put us off our game,” says Aussie boxer Jeff Horn. Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

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