The Smashes: Horn v Corcoran
Whilst England’s cricketers aren’t putting up much of a fight this winter Down Under, one Englishman is promising to take the fight to an Australian this Wednesday in a World Championship bout that is flying under the radar back in his native home.
27 year old Londoner Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran meets Australian Jeff “The Hornet” Horn for the WBO World Welterweight Title in Brisbane on Wednesday in a bout that nobody expected. Corcoran, ranked Number 10 by the WBO does not break into the top 10 in any of the other 3 governing bodies so when the call for this match up came it was truly a Christmas gift out of the blue, one that could turn out to be a life altering moment for the man who resides within an Irish Traveller community in North London.
Corcoran’s opponent knows only all too well about taking advantage of unexpected opportunities as his name was one that many fans had to Google when a declining Manny Pacquiao announced him as his next opponent earlier this year even going as far as to admit he did not know who Horn was given the limited exposure the 29 year old Brisbane native had experienced to that point in his career on the world stage.
What followed on 2 July at Suncorp Stadium was a true Australian Rocky Balboa moment for the former PE teacher who clinched a unanimous decision albeit in controversial fashion in what was a fight of the year contender.
This may not have the glamour of a Vegas headliner but don’t underestimate what a dogfight this could be. Corcoran’s trainer Frank Greaves, fearing a hometown bias that could be their man’s undoing have already begun the gamesmanship earlier today when they presented the media with video highlights of Horn’s unconventional style alluding to the use of a leading head that goes beyond bending the rules; "All I want is a level playing field. Gary can go into the trenches with anyone in the world, provided we get a level playing field."
The biggest name on Corcoran’s resume is a scrappy loss to former British and European Champion Liam Williams at 154 lbs but the belief is that he is the best fighter Horn has faced to date with Filipino pound for pound great Pacquiao not being the fighter he was. "I honestly believe the version of Manny Pacquiao that Jeff beat, he was still a good fighter but he wasn't the whirlwind that knocked out [Miguel] Cotto, he wasn’t the whirlwind who bashed up Antonio Margarito. Gary is the strongest welterweight that he's been in with, without a shadow of a doubt."
The champ’s camp were quick to respond through head trainer Glenn Rushton, "Jeff is not a dirty fighter that's the first thing, he never fights dirty, quite the opposite he does not lead with his head, he has never intentionally tried to headbutt anyone.".
Whether this bout is deserving of being a World Title bout is up for debate and this bout may not be remembered over time but bigger and better things await the winner with the potential of a money spinning fight with Pacquiao being an option or even a trip to the States to face undefeated former light-welterweight unified champion and now WBO Mandatory Terence Crawford who needs the belt to elevate him into the elite at the stacked 147 lb division.
The fight can be viewed on Boxnation on Wednesday 13th December.