Mayweather v Berto: Jeff Horn ready to pounce pound-for-pound king’s title
THE world’s highest paid boxer Floyd Mayweather plans to bow out of the fight game on Sunday and mild mannered Brisbane schoolteacher Jeff Horn is revved up for a run at his vacant title.
Ranked the No. 10 contender for Mayweather’s crown, the unbeaten London Olympian has scared off many of the world’s top welterweights but after scouring the globe for a decent test he will fight Argentina’s Alfredo Blanco in Auckland on October 15.
Horn has won his past four bouts in New Zealand, beating four boxers inside the world top 15 rankings, but his growing reputation has resulted in one knock-back after another in a bid to secure his next opponent.
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Horn scored a seventh-round win over Ukraine’s Viktor Plotnikov in Invercargill on August 1 and top-class rivals are getting harder to find. Horn is positioning himself for a shot at the WBA world title Mayweather will vacate but is also a leading contender for the IBF world title held by Englishman Kell Brook and the WBO title held by American Tim Bradley.
Melbourne-based international matchmaker Stuart Duncan puts fights together for Horn’s promoter Auckland-based Duco Events and says he tried for a month to get some of the best welterweights in the world to fight the Brisbane bomber.
“One after another they said they wouldn’t risk their world ratings,” he said.
“Blanco is a good fighter who holds the WBC Latino title and hasn’t been stopped in 18 fights.
We need the best fighters to push Jeff because we believe he is capable of winning a world title in 2016. He’s not far off fighting the likes of Manny Pacquiao and we would love to get Berto after the Mayweather fight.’’
Horn, 27, who is unbeaten in 12 pro fights, has notched another win in his plan to have boxing for fitness introduced into Queensland schools.
He and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Joe Goodall will be at Springwood State High School on Tuesday taking a class designed to show kids how to get fit through boxing training.
“Our boxing class has got nothing to do with fighting,” Horn said. “It’s great for aerobic conditioning, balance and strength.’’
Mayweather v Berto: Main Event, Sunday 10am