Jeff Horn vs. Gary Corcoran – Results
By Jim Dower: WBO World welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) successfully defended his title on Wednesday night in stopping #10 WBO Gary Corcoran (17-2, 7 KOs) by a tougher than expected 11th round TKO victory at the Brisbane Convention Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The fight was stopped in the 11th round by referee Benjy Esteves due to the 27-year-old Corcoran’s left eye having been cut badly. This was a fun fight to watch. There wasn’t much talent on display, but Horn and Corcoran made it an interesting fight from start to finish.
Corcoran cut occurred in the 8th, but by the 11th, it was in bad condition. Horn was cu in the 6th over his eye. Both fighters were a bloody mess by the 11th round. Corcoran’s cut was a little worse than Horn’s. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:35 of round 11. Boxing News 24 had Corcoran winning just the 5th. The remaining rounds were controlled by the Australian Horn, but they were all still very close rounds. Horn was the better fighter but by small margin. The judges had Horn ahead by the following scores at the time the fight was halted: 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.
The fight wasn’t nearly as dirty and foul-plagued as Horn’s last one against Manny Pacquiao earlier this year in July. Horn did a lot less head-ramming in the fight, and also didn’t shove nearly as much. Horn did use a lot of head-locks on Corcoran, but it wasn’t as bad as the Pacquiao fight.
Horn landed a lot of right hands from the outside. He was the bigger puncher of the two by a wide margin. However, Corcoran was able to land a lot of shots in the fight, and he had Horn bruised up around both eyes by the 10th.
Horn did just a little bit more in each round to get the better of Corcoran. In looking at the 2 fighters go at it, they were evenly matched. This wasn’t a mismatch like a lot of boxing fans expected it to be. Corcoran gave Horn a lot of trouble inside the ring tonight with the pressure he was putting on him. Horn did not look like a world champion inside the ring. He looked more like a fringe contender fighting another fringe contender. Had this been a good welterweight like Errol Spence, Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter, Horn would have likely lost badly tonight. He’s not that type of a talent. However, the World Boxing Organization seems to be the spot where the weaker contenders and champions have been at lately with Jessie Vargas, Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao swapping the strap back and forth. All 3 of those guys are or were Top Rank fighters just like Horn. He’s just the latest of the weaker champions that have held the WBO 147 lb. strap.
After the fight, Horn, 29, was asked if he’s interested in fighting his #1 WBO mandatory challenger Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford next, and he said he’ll take the fight if that’s what the boxing fans want to see. With the way Horn was talking, it didn’t seem that he’s eager to fight Crawford. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was standing right next to Horn while he was being interviewed inside the ring. Arum clearly wants Horn to fight Crawford next. Arum promotes Crawford and he’s trying to turn him into a star. Crawford hasn’t been able to make the leap to PPV star, and he’s now 30-years-old. If it doesn’t happen soon, you’ve got to figure that Crawford might not ever become a PPV attraction. Beating Horn obviously won’t turn Crawford into a star in the U.S, as Horn is an unknown with casual boxing fans in that country.
“It’s a big possibility and if that’s what everyone wants to see, then that’s what’s going to happen,” said Horn when asked if he wants to fight Crawford next. “It’s the entertainment business isn’t it?”
Horn would likely prefer to fight a unification fight against WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman or IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. for his next fight, but it’s doubtful that either of those matches can get made given the climate in boxing. Horn is with Arum, and he rarely works with Spence and Thurman’s adviser Al Haymon. For that reason, Crawford is likely the only option Horn has for his next fight unless he wants to dodge the fight by vacating the WBO title. Horn isn’t going to do that. Horn vs. Crawford will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2018. It’s unclear why they want to stage the fight in Vegas, as Crawford isn’t a big draw outside of his native Nebraska. He attracts a lot of fans in Nebraska.
”He pushed me in there,” said Horn in talking about Corcoran. ”I felt my timing was a bit off, but I managed to get him out of there in the end. I felt like the entire fight I was a little bit off. I was able to clip him with a few good shots. Unfortunately out heads did come together, and the cuts occurred. It’s a bit of a same. But most of it was caused by the punches, I’m sure,” said Horn.
Corcoran nailed Horn with a right hand to the head after the bell sounded to end the 7th. The referee gave Corcoran a stern warning for the late hit. That was one of Horn’s better rounds in the fight. Corcoran had slipped and fallen during the round. Horn’s boxing fans got excited about the trip, and cheered loudly during the remainder of the round. This seemed to motivate Horn to throw more punches than he had in the previous 6 rounds. It was a much better effort from Horn than what he’d shown.
Horn and Corcoran looked fatigued in the 8th, as they both plodded around the ring, grappling on the inside, and mauling each other. It was real messy stuff with few clean shots landed. Late in the round, Corcoran landed a beautiful lab that snapped the head of Horn. That was the punch of the round, but it wasn’t enough for Corcoran to make up for the better work rate from Horn.
Horn fought better in the 9th in landing some clean shots to the head of Corcoran, who was looking exhausted. Corcoran’s cut left eye was worsening by this point in the fight. I think that made it difficult for him to continue to press the attack like he’d been doing.
Early in round 10, Horn trapped Corcoran against the ropes and nailing him with 4 nice shots that almost knocked him out of the ring. Corcoran didn’t have much left in the tank. Corcoran made it through the round, but the fight was not going to last much longer with the way was getting nailed by Horn.
Before the start of the 11th round, the ringside doctor examined Corcoran’s cut and let the fight continue. Horn landed almost all the punches in the 11th, as Corcoran was struggling with his cut left eye. The referee did the right thing to step in and stop the fight when he did, because Corcoran’s cut was really bad and he wasn’t competitive after the 9th round.
Overall, Horn did what he had to go to beat a fringe contender in Corcoran. It wasn’t an impressive performance by Horn, but he’s not that type of a champion to roll over his opposition. He’s an Arturo Gatti type of champion. Horn is fun to watch because he brings a lot of action, but he’s probably not going to get past Crawford in his next fight.