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Horn vs. Corcoran: The battle down under


By Dan Fitz-Simons: On December 13, WBO welterweight champion, Jeff (“the hornet”) Horn (17-0-1), will defend his title against the #10 WBO ranked Garry Corcoran, in Brisbane, Australia. Horn won the title after defeating Manny Pacquiao in a highly controversial unanimous decision, which many believe was due to biased Australian judges.

Controversial or not, Horn is now the WBO champion, as well as “the Cinderella man” of loyal Aussie fans. At 38, Pacquiao is past his prime, and there were rumors that he might retire if he lost to Horn. In addition, Horn not only went the distance against Manny, but he backed up the former champ, applying forward moving pressure during most of the contest.

To many Australians, Horn’s rise to stardom resembles the movie “Rocky.” Bullied as a boy, Jeff learned to box in order to defend himself. Over time, He earned a degree in physical education, and worked as a teacher before turning pro. In 2013, he fought 7 professional bouts, and a year later, married his high school sweet heart. Within 5 years, Horn compiled a record of 17 wins and 1 draw.
Little is known about Gary (“the hell raiser”) Corcoran (17-1-7KO’s), who has never fought outside the UK. The British challenger has a traveler heritage and hails from north London. He’s ranked # 4 among British welterweights, behind Kell Brook, Bradley Skeete, and Frankie Gavern. However, Boxrec rates him at # 72 on the international level, and with only 7 KO’s, he’s hardly a power puncher.

Corcoran also has 1 loss by TKO, and a resume full of C-level ham and eggers. Horn’s team probably chose the Brit as a safe tune-up, (“he can’t bang and hasn’t been tested.”) Horn could then move on to a more lucrative unifier against Keith Thurman or Terence Crawford. Yet to view Corcoran as just another contender is a mistake. After all, he did defeat Danny Butler for the WBO super welterweight title.

Unfortunately, that win was followed by his only loss against Liam Williams in a brutal grudge match, full of fouls, taunts, weeping cuts, and face wounds. Nevertheless, Corcoran quickly turned his career around, winning his next 2 bouts. In July 2017, he defeated Larry Ekundayo by split decision, and gained still another WBO welterweight belt in the process.

In fact, Corcoran is tailor-made for this exciting match. He’s an explosive boxer-puncher with quick hands and lightening combinations. A natural scrapper, he sometimes races out of his corner at the bell, peppering his startled opponent with jabs and hooks. Corcoran will bring the fight to Horn, and since both fighters have aggressive styles, there’ll be rapid-fire collisions.

Horn has the edge with the fans in Brisbane (the hornet’s nest). He also has a 1” height advantage over Corcoran, 5’9” to 5’8.” Both have 18 professional bouts, however there’s a 2-year age gap: Horn 29, and Corcoran 27. But most importantly, Corcoran has only 7KO’s to Horn’s 11, and the hornet never lost a fight. Look for a thrilling contest when these warriors clash down under.

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