A world title fight from Australia in midweek, Londoner Gary Corcoran aims to do what Manny Pacquiao couldn't and beat Jeff Horn. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse gives his opinion..
"That work rate will be key to any success here, and I wouldn’t put anyone off an interest bet at a nice price." Corcoran to win at [6.40].
A fight of major importance for British boxing fans, but one that seems to have flown under the radar somewhat. Jeff Horn v Gary Corcoran for the WBO world welterweight title, the same gong Horn claimed with a surprise points win over Manny Pacquiao back in the summer.
Englishman Corcoran travels with his team from the Peacock Gym, London intent on causing an upset, bringing the title home and setting up some exciting domestic dust-ups, but the betting is dead against the ambitious 27-year-old. What are his chances?
Underdog aims to grab his chance with both hands
Gary Corcoran flies around the world in an attempt to realise a career-long dream of becoming a world champion, and although many believe it may have come a little too early in his development, the challenger showing stats of 17 wins against one defeat, the Wembley-based welter is determined to grab his opportunity with both hands, knowing a chance like this doesn't come along often in the short career of a professional fighter.
Liam Williams inflicted the only defeat to date on Corcoran, dishing out an 11th round TKO last summer for the British title. The beaten man was sent to the canvas near the end of a gruelling contest, fought out at an electric pace, suffering a nasty cut below is eye before being waived off. A proud warrior, he would've liked to hear the final bell, but more than made up for it when outpointing former Prizefighter champion Larry Ekundayo last time, courtesy of a split decision. The size of the task in front of Corcoran is evident in the betting, the Brit written off as a [6.40] no hoper on the Betfair Exchange. An eighth career knockout win is bigger still, 17/2 (Betfair Sportsbook).
Horn has plenty of friends in the betting
Talking of upsetting the odds, sporting surprises don't come much bigger than Jeff Horn's unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao earlier this year. Thought of as little more than a chance for an Australian audience to get a rare look at Pac Man performing in the flesh, and the fighter to boost his bank balance with a healthy pay day, it all went pear-shaped for the Filipino pound-for-pound great. A closely fought contest, many thought the favourite worked in bursts, not enough to win the fight, before dropping a 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 decision.
That stretched The Hornet's CV to 17 wins, 11 by KO, no losses and one draw, the spare coming very early in his career, caused by a cut to his opponent, the injury occurring too early in the bout to merit a judges' decision. Horn won plenty of new fans with that nod vs Pac, including punters, as tight as [1.22] on the Exchange. The jolly has stopped three of his last four opponents, Corcoran's only career defeat came inside the distance. KO home win is 10/11 (Sportsbook).
Hellraiser a nightmare to box
It's a surprise to see Corcoran given a shot at a world title after just 18 fights, but he's not in with an experienced champion, and it looks like many have been too quick to jump on the local lad. Horn is a talented fighter, full of confidence, and cheered on by a home crowd, but Corcoran wouldn't be the first Brit to go to Oz and upset one of their star attractions.
I was a teammate of Gary Corcoran's during our early pro days at the TKO Gym, sparring plenty of rounds with him when he was trained by Mark Tibbs. His relentless, come-forward style and constant work rate made him a nightmare to be in with, and there really is no hiding place against him. He reminded me a lot of another sparring partner in John Simpson. That work rate will be key to any success here, and I wouldn't put anyone off an interest bet at a nice price.
Now trained by Frank Greaves, brother of popular journeyman Johnny, the selection is in capable hands, and the build-up has been entertaining. [2.40] on the fight to go the distance should also give us a run for our money.