By Vince Rugari
Rising Australian boxing star Jeff Horn is perfectly equipped to handle the biggest moment of his burgeoning career when it comes in front of a hometown crowd on Wednesday night.
That's the view of Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton, who says the 28-year-old schoolteacher is set to give three-time world champion Randall Bailey an almighty shock when the pair meet in their highly-anticipated bout at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Horn, the No.5 contender, can put himself in the frame for a potential world welterweight title shot if he can overcome the 41-year-old from Miami, Florida, who is considered one of the sport's hardest punchers and has a 71 per cent knockout rate.
Bailey has lost just once since 2009, and that was a points decision.
Their meeting will be broadcast on Fox Sports and is Horn's big introduction to mainstream Australian audiences since he turned pro - the 2012 London Olympian has been toiling away in New Zealand for the last 18 months, quietly knocking off world-ranked boxers in relative anonymity back home to be unbeaten after 14 fights.
"It's a lot of pressure. But Jeff does handle the pressure well, it's something I've been building with him for years," Rushton told AAP.
"We had this big conversation about the burden of expectation going into the Olympics.
"It's just a matter of who handles it the best.
"A lot of guys are about to walk out and you just see they're going to jelly already.
"Jeff doesn't, he just gets in the zone. He's almost on another planet. He's not nervous."
Horn's preparation was completed on Monday night with a short, sharp session at Rushton's gym in the south of Brisbane, ahead of the weigh-in late on Tuesday.
"My elbows are aching, I can tell you just from the power he was generating with some of those punches, you can feel it in your shoulders and your elbows," Rushton said.
Rushton conceded Horn has a "latent weakness" in his throat, where he had a metal plate surgically inserted following a training accident earlier in the year that forced the fight to be pushed back.
The cartilage has not yet fully recovered and Bailey has declared his intention to target Horn's injury.
But Rushton has warned the American that whatever he has in store won't be enough - a view backed by bookies, who have Horn as a strong favourite to continue his stunning ascent up the world rankings.
"When Bailey hits Jeff, he'll get a shock because Jeff will just hit him back. He won't flinch. It will come back with interest," he said.
"That's where Randall Bailey is going to start doubting himself."