JEFF Horn followed up his contentious WBO welterweight title win over Filipino star Manny Pacquiao with a successful first defense against Gary Corcoran. Now he’s heading to America.
The former school teacher from Australia won by technical knockout in the 11th round yesterday when Corcoran’s corner threw in the towel with the England-based boxer bleeding from a deep cut above his left eye.
It was Horn’s first fight since his unanimous decision upset over eight-division champion Pacquiao in front of more than 51,000 fans in an outdoor afternoon fight at nearby Suncorp Stadium in July in the “Battle of Brisbane” — a victory that some critics dismissed as a hometown decision.
Horn, now unbeaten in 19 bouts, is hoping the win at the Brisbane Convention Centre sets him up for a fight against Terence Crawford in Las Vegas next year.
“Yeah, there is a lot to prove to a lot of Americans,” Horn said. “There’s always going to be the doubters. All I can do is keep winning. Hopefully I can start changing people’s minds one by one.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he expected to soon confirm a Crawford-Horn fight in Las Vegas in April.
“We move on now. Terence Crawford is the mandatory contender,” Arum said. “Terence Crawford is one of the best fighters around. He was a lightweight champion — that’s 135 pounds — then he became a junior welterweight (140 pounds), and wiped out that division.”
Arum said the step up to the 147-pound division would be another challenge for the unbeaten Crawford.
Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton, who masterminded his famous victory over Manny Pacquiao, says it can be done.
"Crawford is beatable," he said.
"He has weaknesses that we can exploit.
"He may be slapping around the lightweights and the super lightweights but the welterweights are bigger boys, they're tougher.
"We must execute a plan with military precision if we're going to beat him."
Corcoran's co-trainer Frank Greaves said Crawford was a "different animal" but one that Horn could potentially tame.
"The guy's got sublime skills," Greaves said.
"For me, Jeff is going to have to work on his outside game a hell of a lot more to get close enough to Crawford.
"Crawford is a very good fighter. The unknown in there, is Crawford a very good welterweight? That we don't know.
"Genuinely, we wish him all the best. Jeff's on that level."