Even Jeff Horn’s next opponent – hard-hitting Briton Gary Corcoran –thinks the Australian boxer did enough to beat Filipino great Manny Pacquiao and claim the WBO welterweight belt.
But Corcoran has vowed to upset Horn’s plans for a re-match with the 11-time world champion.
Horn’s camp on Monday confirmed the ex-school teacher would defend his world title against the unheralded Corcoran in Brisbane on December 13.
And as a bemused Corcoran looked on, Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan also confirmed Brisbane had officially secured the rights to host the Australian’s re-match with Pacquiao – if the Filipino legend can be coaxed Down Under again.
World No.10 ranked Corcoran surprisingly had Horn’s back when asked what he thought of the Australian’s controversial win over Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in July.
Horn earned a unanimous points victory but wasn’t officially declared the winner until an independent review of the judges’ scorecards following protests from Pacquiao and the Filipino government.
“It was a good fight, I don’t think Pacquiao did enough,” Corcoran said.
“He did more running than anything in the fight, so fair play to Jeff, he won.”
That’s where the pleasantries ended after Corcoran’s camp looked less than impressed by Lonergan’s Pacquiao re-match announcement.
Lonergan confirmed if Pacquiao finally did agree to a re-match, it could only take place in Brisbane.
“The only problem we do have is our good friend Mr Pacquiao who is never as easy we would like him to be,” Lonergan said.
“We will work with him for the next few months to get that fight down here.”
Corcoran claimed he wasn’t disrespected by the Pacquiao re-match call but added: “I think it is a mistake [to plan ahead] – I will show him on the night”.
Corcoran’s trainer Peter Stanley didn’t mince his words.
“We will have to play the villain here. You’ve made all these lovely plans but we will come and upset them,” he said.
“Be careful what you wish for – you want a fight, we will give you a fight.”
Lonergan further rubbed it in by revealing Corcoran wasn’t their first choice opponent – it was fellow Briton, world No.3-ranked Bradley Skeete.
Then Lonergan saw footage of Skeete in action.
“I said ‘we can’t do this to the Australian public – this is the most boring fighter in the planet’,” Lonergan said.
“The reason we went with Gary is that he fights an exciting go forward style.
“And Jeff had said ‘bring whoever you want but we are in the entertainment business’.”
Horn admitted his head had not stopped spinning since his Pacquiao upset.
“It’s become a blur,” he said.
“But I am always fighting for my family and future, I am very hungry to keep winning.”