IN the space of twelve months, Jeff Horn went from anonymous contender to maligned champion.
Last year, the Brisbane-based welterweight capped a remarkable ascension, swiftly shifting from Australia’s best performed Olympian in three decades to capture a coveted world title in front of a record crowd.
Although no world championship will be on the line on Friday night, Suncorp Stadium will once again be the backdrop as Horn steps into the domestic spotlight for a second time.
Months of ridicule and torment have followed the former WBO titleholder, who will look to defend his unofficial moniker as Australia’s boxing poster boy against its former holder, Anthony Mundine.
Despite the pressure that accompanies such a high-profile bill, Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) has taken it in his stride.
“We are looking forward to the fight,” said Horn in an interview with Aus-Boxing.
“It feels like a long time coming, there has been lots of talk and no action, but the action is coming soon.”
Once upon a time, the 30-year-old would hone in craft at Glenn Rushton’s Stretton headquarters alongside only Sam Banney. Nowadays, Horn is flanked by a slew of formidable contenders including Dennis Hogan, Cameron Hammond and Czar Amonsot among others.
The change in tempo doesn’t appear to have bothered Horn, who likes the company of his pugilistic peers.
“The gym is pumping at the moment at Stretton,” quipped Horn.
“It’s great to have so many guys on the same journey, guys that want to win big fights. It’s great to be around like-minded individuals.”
“Australia is doing great in boxing being able to put on these big stadium fights.”
The hook surrounding the domestic meeting is primarily built on the perceived similarities between Horn’s looming opponent Mundine and is most recent, former two-division lineal ruler Terence Crawford.
While many see mirroring traits between the pair, Horn sees few.
“Mundine is a counter-puncher and so is Crawford, that’s the only comparison,” he conluded.
“Other than that, I don’t think they have much in common.”
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