It’s hardly the fight of the year, but it could be the fight of Gary Corcoran’s life against Aussie hometown hero, Jeff Horn.
Jeff Horn doesn’t like to refer to his opponents by name. Instead, he refers to them as just that, “opponent”. It’s a mental edge the WBO welterweight champ likes to take ahead of big fights, and since the worldwide jury is still out on the 29-year old, Wednesday’s showdown against Gary Corcoran looms large.
Horn relishes in the underdog role, a patriotic Aussie attitude. Punters seem unfazed by his cool and calm demeanour, though, with the majority of early betting in favour of the Englishman. It seriously begs the question of what to expect in this fight, but also, is there value to be found in Corcoran at $6.50?
Since Corcoran has lasted at least 10 rounds in five of his last seven fights, he’s a nice pick @ $11 to win via points/decision. Corcoran has lost only once in his professional career, and that was at super welterweight. Horn has to prove to the world that he’s in fact the real deal, and Corcoran has to take full advantage of what could be his one and only title opportunity.
Although Horn successfully took down Manny Pacquiao back in July, he hardly did so in style. At the end of the day, he’s the champ and that does count for something, but it was a controversial victory that garnered worldwide attention, and of course, criticism. Pacquiao landed his shots during that fight, even if the judges saw differently. That bout was against a legendary future Hall of Famer, but now Horn finds himself up against the ‘Hellraiser’, an athletic up-and-comer that could be poised for a major upset.
There’s no doubt this fight may just be a gap filler before we see Horn vs. Pacquiao II, or even Horn vs. Terence Crawford in the future. There’s also no doubt that Horn feels quite confident coming into this one, and ultimately, that could be his undoing. The lead up to the fight has been extremely one-sided, with the majority of experts writing Corcoran off. There’s no denying that the 27-year old could unleash some serious damage against the champ, though, ranking inside the Top 10 in the WBO welterweight rankings.
While the last three days have featured plenty of headlines, perhaps the biggest has been Horn’s dramatic dash to make weight. He was seven kilograms too heavy earlier in the week, and had to shed four kilos 24 hours prior to Tuesday’s weigh-in. It’s uncharacteristic from the champ, and since Corcoran is known for his tip-top fitness, endurance, and strong mid-section, it remains to be seen how Horn’s body holds up.
The Trash Talk
As far as the other headlines go, it appears Corcoran is ready for a dirty fight. ‘The Hornet’s’ dirty headbutting tactics have been a talking point in Corcoran’s camp, and unfortunately for the champ, the Brit has also discovered one of Horn’s biggest weaknesses: an injury. Keeping it disclosed for three weeks was clever, but Corcoran’s trainers have gained knowledge of a left-eye cut sustained during a sparring session in Horn’s training camp. It paints a huge bulls-eye, and since this fight was always slated to be a slug fest between these two orthodox fighters, expect Corcoran to target it early and often.
An upset is definitely on the cards.