Corcoran’s bitten off more than he can chew: Rushton

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 12: Boxer Jeff Horn poses for a photo on January 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Jeff HornJeff Horn’s camp has laughed off claims by challenger Gary Corcoran that the Australian intentionally headbutted Manny Pacquiao on his way to winning the WBO welterweight title in July.

Ahead of Wednesday’s showdown in Brisbane between the pair, Corcoran threatened to bite Horn should he cop a headbutt during the title fight.

But Horn’s coach, Glenn Rushton, said his star pupil had never committed an intentional foul in a boxing ring, dismissing Corcoran’s suggestion as unfounded.

“He’s already taken on a mouthful as it is with this fight, and to bite him would be biting off more than he can chew, I can tell you,” Rushton said.

“One thing I know for Jeff is he’s never, ever intentionally committed a foul on anyone – he doesn’t ever try to do anything wrong. Just in the heat of the battle, sometimes these things happen.

“When you look at the [Pacquiao] fight, Jeff came off it worse. He had a cut right above his eye in round two and I was treating that all the way through the fight just to add another dimension.

“You’ve got someone like Manny Pacquiao who moves his head a lot, they’re both very quick on their feet, they both move their heads a lot, they’re both coming in fast, it’s going to happen. You’ve got a shorter guy, he’s a southpaw as well, which also complicates things when their front feet clash, he’s shorter, he’s lifting his head up into Jeff’s.”

Contrary to Corcoran’s assertion, Rushton has warned Horn many times about how crucial it is to avoid head contact in the ring.

“When you headbutt you never know who’s going to come off with the most damage,” Rushton said. “We do everything to try and keep the heads apart.

“I always say to Jeff be really careful when you’re in close, just be really mindful of headbutts, be careful, tie them up tight. It’s one of the reasons why you clinch tight because you just don’t want any movement where the head can go bang and hit into yours.”

Corcoran is Horn’s first opponent since he dethroned the highly fancied Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane.

Camp Horn granted the Filipino great a rematch, but he unexpectedly pulled out of the fight, which has allowed Corcoran a shot at the title.

Brisbane local Horn has been battling to get his weight down in time for the fight and was still seven kilograms too heavy earlier this week, but Rushton said that wouldn’t be an issue.

“The weight’s been a little bit higher than I would like, we have had to certainly work with that and try and get that right, but he’s getting to where he needs to be now – he’s not that far off,” Rushton said.

“He did blow out a little bit. He doesn’t normally blow out as much as he did. He raided that Nutella cabinet after the last fight and I think he couldn’t find the lock to put back on it for a while.

“That was of concern, but eventually we’ve got that bolted back up. He seems to now be tracking in the right direction. You can see with Jeff in his face when he’s a little bit overweight, he’s just a bit puffy in the face.

“I said to Jeff the most important thing in this fight is make sure we’re really fit. He [Corcoran] is like a tank and that tank will just roll over the top of you if you’re not fit enough, it’ll crumple you up and just spit you out the other end.

“He’s young, he’s strong, he’s fit, he’s tall, he’s a big guy, he’s hungry, he comes from a tough upbringing. We like the tough guys, we enjoy them. Certainly, he’s going to bring a lot of energy, he’s going to come forward, he’s going to throw an awful lot of punches.”

Horn is facing a mandatory title defence against superstar American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas in April, should he down Corcoran.

There is also talk of an all-Australian clash with Anthony Mundine, who is considering hanging up his boxing gloves at the end of next year.

“We’d consider it if the Australian public wanted to see it,” Rushton said of a potential clash with The Man.

“I think it would be a changing of the guard. Mundine’s been a very popular figure for a very long time in Australian boxing and we’re certainly keen to show that we can beat all of these guys.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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