Jeff Horn blasted out in nine by ruthless Terence Crawford

There would be no miracle this time. Jeff Horn has lost his WBO welterweight belt after a savage beating from Terence Crawford, with the referee waving off the fight with 27 seconds remaining in the ninth round.

Horn was well behind on points and was outclassed by the brilliant Crawford, who has made a superb start to his invasion of the welterweight ranks.

Terence Crawford, left, knocks Jeff Horn, of Australia, off balance.

Terence Crawford, left, knocks Jeff Horn, of Australia, off balance.

He was able to avoid Horn all night and may have won every round until that point. Horn struggled in the eighth round and his corner must have been thinking about throwing in the towel.

Instead, the courageous Horn battled on, only for Crawford to pick him to pieces and end the night in a barrage of punches. Horn had been down earlier in that round and never really recovered.

Referee Robert Byrd had told Horn he needed to show something in the ninth, exactly the same as the Manny Pacquiao fight. But this time Horn had nothing in reserve and was blasted out of there with expert precision.

After all of the back and forth between camps in the build up to the fight, Horn had only praise for his competitor after the fight.

"He's a very good boxer. I thought I could beat him coming forward. Well done to Terence Crawford. He's a great fighter," Horn said post-bout.

"He was strong, he didn't seem like a smaller guy. Good on him. I wish I could have kept going to the end."

This was a statement fight for Crawford, who wasn't pushed around the ring at all by the bigger Horn. He avoided the Horn right all night with ease, then started picking him apart after six rounds.

With Horn labouring, Crawford was cruising and upped the pace. Horn had no answer and the stoppage was a merciful one.

Horn shouldn't lose any fans and took on a fighter rated as the best in the world. But his hold on the welterweight title was fleeting and he may not have done enough to suggest a return to big-time boxing in the USA.

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