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Splitting hairs: Jeff Horn says he has no choice but to wear ‘dangerous’ gloves against Crawford

Floyd Mayweather wouldn't let them anywhere near a boxing ring when he was fighting but Jeff Horn has little choice but to wear a controversial Everlast glove in his WBO welterweight bout against American gunner Terence Crawford on June 9 in Las Vegas.

Both fighters box with the Everlast brand and Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton obtained a pair of the eight-ounce gloves Crawford intends to use when he meets the defending champion at Mandalay Bay in just over a month.

Jeff Horn spars with his new lightweight gloves at his training base in Brisbane on Thursday.

Photo: AAP

They are MX gloves padded with horse hair instead of more modern latex foam, which Horn would normally use in his fight gloves. Foam provides far more padding and protection for both opponents and a fighter's hand and knuckles.

Horse-hair gloves are still legal but infrequently used by top professionals. Horn has never boxed in them but must now adjust in coming weeks, with his hands certain to take more damage as well as dish out more pain.

"We want it to be an even playing field. They are very thin … far thinner than the ones I was going to use and have used in the past. If he wants to trade punches with these, it's going to hurt a lot more for both of us," Horn said.

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"If anyone lands a clean punch with one of these, it's going to hurt like getting a clear punch to the face [with no gloves on]. It's going to be dangerous in there."

"I've never fought with gloves like this before. It's not a massive change but it's more about conditioning your knuckles so it doesn't impact you in the fight."

Reporters at Horn's gym on Thursday afternoon tried on both sets of gloves and there is a huge difference in padding and protection. While foam gloves give constant protection, horse hair can also move during a fight, clumping under sweat and making it feel like a fighter is connecting with bare wraps.

"This changes the game," Rushton said. "This is the glove you have when you're not wearing a glove. It's a throwback to the past. This glove here is when I was a kid boxing, this was all that's around … horse-hair gloves.

"The problem with horse hair is you can push it away. It absorbs sweat and liquid. You get slumps in there. You can't do that with latex foam. It doubles the shock through the glove. It's almost like a four-ounce glove.

"I believe so [Crawford will regret it]. After the first round he's going to realise it's going to be a long night at the office and a very painful one."

Rushton now believes the fight is no chance of going the distance given the gloves both men will wear.

"KO … I think this is going to be a knockout. To survive 12 rounds with two very aggressive fighters, it will be superhuman. I see it ending in a KO and Jeff winning the fight."

Mayweather refused to allow any of his later opponents to wear horse-hair gloves and had minor disputes over the weight and padding of gloves against opponents such as Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor.

Under Nevada regulations, the 147-pound welterweight limit is the last division in which eight-ounce gloves are allowed to be worn, with 10-ounce gloves enforced after that mark.

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Phil Lutton

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