SO Dodgy scales and American shonks? Was that anything of a surprise ahead of tomorrow’s Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford fight?
That’s just the start. The Americans are doing everything they can to rattle Horn.
Security initially barred him and his team from entering the MGM Grand Arena for today’s weigh-in and made the world champ wait several minutes at the gate before he was given access.
Then there were no seats for his wife and baby.
Las Vegas can be a very unfriendly, inhospitable place.
Down the road from Horn’s hotel a man shot 909 people last year, killing 58 of them.
You only have to walk 100 metres from the foyer to be offered cocaine or prostitutes and, nearby, pedestrians were this week treated to the sight of an elderly, near-naked couple rolling along the concrete, copulating on the footpath before a cop shone a flash light into their bleary eyes.
An old man dressed in a sparkly white jumpsuit holding a microphone regularly steers a mobility scooter with the other as he rushes through the foot traffic on the sidewalks heading to his gig as a roadside Elvis.
This is the heaving, pulsating freak show that is the Las Vegas strip and Horn was always prepared for startling surprises ahead of the fight.
Today, he needed three attempts to make the 147lb (66.68kg) welterweight limit for his world title defence against Terence Crawford at the MGM Grand Casino tomorrow.
He claimed a set of dodgy scales provided by Crawford’s promoter Top Rank was behind his struggle.
On his first try at 3.18pm he was 148lb and then going nude behind a black sheet he was 147.5.
He was given an hour to make the weight or forfeit the world title and finally came in spot on the weight 40 minutes later after a hot bath.
Horn said the scales provided for him by Crawford’s promoters Top Rank were not calibrated the same as the official scales for the weigh in. He suspects it was deliberate.
“We tested on the official set of scales given to us by [promoters] Top Rank and my weight was fine,’’ he said.
“I think there was something up their sleeve with this one because Crawford was just under the weight and I was just over. I thought I was under before we got here. There was a bit of play with the scales. We thought the ones given to us were calibrated correctly.’’
He said he always suspected the Americans would play tricks with him. All the time that he was on the scales Crawford’s gargantuan manager Brian “Bomac’’ McIntyre told him he was an amateur taking on the big boys.
Crawford was comfortably under the weight at 146.5lb on his first try.
“I’m bigger than him,’’ Horn said. “He put his shoes on to look taller.’’
At one stage Crawford made a play to grab Horn’s world title belt but Horn wouldn’t let go.
“Crawford said that’s a nice looking belt, and I said `yes it is’,’’ Horn said.
Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton said the battle with the scales was just an annoyance rather than a drama.
“Top Rank had a set of scales that they provided in the dressing room and they said they were definitely right,’’ Rushton said.
“We allowed for a margin of error but we get down here and they were out by more than a pound.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything because we are ready for the fight and nothing will derail us. We are ready for the fight of our life and Terence better be ready too because we mean business.
“ Jeff is very calm. He doesn’t look gaunt like he has for other fights. He has had no problem getting his weight down. It was just the calibration of the scales. Crawford looked a little smug but that will all be gone by round one.’’
Rushton said Horn would be a little over 70kg after rehydrating before the fight.
A crowd of 1000 people including Aussie greats Jeff Fenech and Barry Michael were on hand to watch the weigh-in.
Jeff Horn v Terence Crawford Pay Per View will be broadcast on Foxtel Channel 507.
To order: www.mainevent.com.au