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Jeff Horn’s coaching reshuffle for Tszyu clash

A fiercely loyal approach to training took Jeff Horn from a Brisbane garage to the world stage.

As the next challenge in his storied career approaches, Horn (20-2-1, 13 KOs) has made wholesale changes to his team ahead of the domestic super-fight against unbeaten star Tim Tszyu (15-0, 11 KOs) on August 26.

“You constantly have to improve yourself, and I do that at the gym,” he told ABC Grandstand’s Corbin Middlemas and Ben Cameron.

“I’ve also got someone else involved, I’ve got Chris Muckert, my strength and conditioning guy, he’s replaced Dundee Kim. He’s absolutely exceptional at what he does, he’s got me nice and strong for this fight already.

“I’m really enjoying doing my work with him. The third part is that I’ve got another boxing coach on board, called Tyrone Tongia. His nickname is Cyclone, and he’s a former fighter himself. He’s very good at defensive skills and just knowing the boxing game.”

Among the new additions for the 32-year-old include the aforementioned Tongia, a former two-time national titleholder, and former rugby league footballer Muckert, who replaces long-time conditioning guru Dundee Kim.

When probed on the controversial departure of Kim, Horn offered his view for the parting of ways.

“That’s a good question and not one I can really answer,” he explained.

“I believe it’s from his issues with Glenn, they’ve always butted heads a little bit.

“I had no issues with Dundee whatsoever, we’ve always had a friendly relationship, but I think he was overclouded by Glenn a bit, and wanted to be recognised more, which was reciprocated.”

In recent months, the training practices of Rushton have been an ever-present topic for conversation, with his role debated ad nauseam in the build-up to Horn’s thrilling decision over Michael Zerafa in December.

Despite this, the former Olympian is steadfast in his support of the Stretton-based mentor, citing the continued learning curve for both fighter and trainer.

“Everyone can keep improving… Glenn can keep improving as well,” he said.

“He’s learning as a coach, and what works well. Not everyone knows everything, and I guess he knows that, and I know that. We’re constantly learning and improving ourselves, and that’s all we can try to do.

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“To keep getting better as a team, and that’s sometimes being a better individual and a team player. I think I’ve got the strongest team than what I’ve ever had.

“I never thought about leaving Glenn, it has never been a thought in my mind at this stage of my career, to leave Glenn. With everything he’s done for me, the stage we got, he taught me my first punch. He’s been a great mentor of mine, I couldn’t imagine leaving him, unless he did something pretty stupid towards myself.”

A win over the fast-rising Tszyu would begin a rebirth of sorts for Horn, who continues his bid for a second world title in as many divisions.

Seven years removed from his professional debut, Horn admits that the eventual exit plan remains unchanged, with his well-documented career timeline remaining a priority.

“I guess I’m in the peak of my career, for sure,” he concluded.

“I’ve always spoken about wanting to be out of the fight game at age 35, mid-thirties. I’ve always said that because I know that the peak of your boxing career is roughly around the age of 30 to 35.

“You’ve got the power, you’ve got the skills there to do the best you can. I feel like I’m in the peak part of my career. I guess Tim is going to be running into that.”

Photo: Getty Images

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