Jeff Horn backs Hogan to do ‘very well’ against Tszyu

FEW fighters would know Tim Tszyu and Dennis Hogan better than Jeff Horn.

The former WBO welterweight champion has an intimate understanding of the 36-year-old Hogan, having sparred hundreds of rounds in preparation for their respective world title fights.

As the Brisbane-based Irishman prepares to face unbeaten star Tim Tszyu on Wednesday night in Newcastle, Horn is firmly backing his former teammate to score a career-best win.

“It’s an interesting contest that’s for sure,” Horn told ABC Grandstand’s Corbin Middlemas and Ben Cameron.

“I think if Dennis fights at his best, or if he fights the way he fought against Munguia in his world title cracks, he’ll probably win this fight.

“It all depends on how the guys are on the night. It wasn’t my night when I fought Tim.”

Horn has been enjoying life away from the spotlight, focussing on extracurricular activities since suffering a one-sided defeat to Tszyu in their domestic blockbuster last August.

Having shared the ring with Tszyu (17-0, 13 KOs) for eight rounds, the 33-year-old understands the enormity of the challenge at hand for Hogan (28-3-1, 7 KOs), who he sees as a difficult stylistic pairing.

“He (Tim) demolished me pretty easily and pretty comfortably that night,” he explained.

“I just hope it’s not the same for Dennis. Dennis is a great boxer. He’s got that awkward style about him, he’s similar to me in that way that we’re pretty awkward, but he’s just a strong guy as well.

“If he uses that movement, that unpredictability, and he doesn’t stand in range of Tim, he’ll do very well.”

When asked to describe Tszyu’s strengths, Horn offered a candid explanation, including a subpar performance on his part.

“Tim does control the distance extremely well, he’s got a very good jab,” he added.

“I guess he uses that sharp right hand at the end of that. I guess that’s what Tim does well… that’s what Dennis has got to negate.

“I feel like I don’t have a lot of experience with Tim at my best. I feel like I can’t rate him, I can’t rate him yet. He could be one of the best there is, has been, I guess time will tell.

“But he hasn’t been tested massively yet. He’s fought me, but I feel he’s fought a shadow of myself.”

Having been out of the ring for just seven months, Horn (20-3-1, 13 KOs) is in no rush to make a decision on his future.

However, the desire to compete will play a big part in what he decides to do next.

“I do not know, to be honest. I’m just enjoying a nice little break from the sport at this stage,” he concluded.

“I did say I’d be retiring at 35, so that’s not too far away. That’s only a couple of years away. If I’m going to fight again… I wouldn’t wait for too long, towards the end of this year I’d have a fight, or I won’t be fighting at all again.

“I don’t (miss it) at this stage. Which I guess is a big reason why I wouldn’t come back just yet, because I need to have that hunger in me like the young guns do.

“Tim Tszyu has definitely got that hunger, the hunger that I probably didn’t have. I guess that’s what you 100% need as a fighter. I had massive hunger when I was fighting guys like Manny Pacquiao to get my world title.

“If you don’t have that, you’re ten steps behind the other guy.”

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