PREMIER’S GLOVE LETTER FOR HORN
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