WBO Champion Jeff Horn wants to make an early statement against Terence Crawford

For Jeff Horn, it was a statement round; to a highly sceptical boxing world, to his decorated opponent and most importantly, to himself.

In front of 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, against an all-time great in Manny Pacquiao, many expected Horn to be overwhelmed and outgunned from the first bell. Nerves would devour him, then Pacquiao would feast on his bones.

Instead it was Horn that fought like the more-seasoned man. He pounced on Pacquiao, shook off the nerves, took the round and set himself on the path to a famous victory. Pacquiao laughed and dared him to come on harder… there’s rarely a better sign that a fighter has found themselves in deeper than they predicted.

Now Horn hopes to repeat the dose when he meets Terence Crawford and defends his WBO welterweight strap at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9.

With the belief Horn has been fed to the lions to gift the undefeated Crawford an easy crown in his first outing since moving up to welterweight, the Brisbane fighter knows he must put himself on the map early.

He said he wanted to remind Crawford, rated by most in the top handful of pound-for-pound fighters in the world, that he was the man with the belt and not in Vegas on a holiday.

The respect out of the ring is genuine, even if the relationship between the camps has gone steadily south amid a string of delays, injuries to Crawford and a minor controversy about the type of gloves to be used.

In the ring, Horn said the charity would quickly evaporate.

“He’s [Crawford] a different fighter because he likes that counter-punching style, where Manny likes to fight in bursts. He wants to be on top of you straight away,” Horn said before another sparring session on Monday.

“I have to treat it the same way and show him [Crawford] little respect in there. I’m the world champion, he’s coming to fight me and I have to show that I am the champion.”

Horn is too switched on and well trained to be reckless early but his ability to tune out of boxing and all of its endless noise has proven to be one of his best weapons as a top-flight pro.

He wasn’t daunted at all by fighting in front of 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium and said if Crawford thought he would be off his game fighting in the US, he was mistaken.

“It’s pretty inspiring [to fight in Vegas]. I went there for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and for a holiday as well as the ESPYs. I’ve been there a few times. It’s an amazing place. But to fight there will be different.

“Duco have done a really good thing to make these big shows for me. Suncorp, you can’t beat that. The bright lights are there but it will be the same as all the other fights.”

The furore about Crawford fighting in minimalist horsehair gloves has proven to be much ado about nothing, with their camp denying over the weekend that they would be their weapon of choice.

Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton will prepare for any late changes but Horn can now resume training and fighting in his more familiar Everlast Powerlock gloves, which he has donned for his past 10 fights.