It’s the Battle of Brisbane 2 between Londoner Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran (17-1) and WBO world welterweight champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1) on December 13.
The Australian hero won the belt unexpectedly with a controversial decision over eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao last July in front of 51,000 fans at the Suncorp Stadium in the first Battle of Brisbane.
The Hornet enjoys the home advantage again in the Queensland capital against the Hellraiser.
The 29-year-old, who has notable stoppages over former world champion Randall Bailey and world title challenger Ali Funeka in 2016, enters December’s contest with a record of 17 wins, no losses and one draw, with 11 of those triumphs coming inside the distance.
The ex-school teacher is an aggressive, come-forward fighter who is rough and rugged, and has been known to use his head and elbows to his advantage.
Corcoran’s style is very similar to his forthcoming foe’s, so the warring pair will likely meet in the middle in this championship contest.
His sole loss in his six-year paid career was in an epic, genuine grudge match with Welshman Liam Williams for the British super-welterweight belt in July 2016.
Trained by Frank Greaves, Gary has fought 16 of his 18 professional fights in London and once each in neighbouring Wales and Northern Ireland, so December 13 will be his first fight outside of the UK.
The 26-year-old, signed to Frank Warren, is a two-weight WBO Inter-Continental champion, ranked #10 with the WBO, and has ruined the undefeated record of three top prospects.
However, Corcoran is the clear underdog so the expectation to win will fall heavily on the native, who is already overlooking his English counterpart by lining up lucrative unification fights in 2018.
BBN called upon their panel of experts to ask who they think will win this tasty mid-week world title contest – The Hornet or the Hellraiser?
Tyrone McKenna, Unbeaten Super-lightweight
"I'm 50/50 on who wins this, I'm not overly sold on Jeff Horn and Gary Corcoran is a tough fighter, I'm hoping to see Gary points win."
Ben Day, Former Southern Area Champion
“Good luck, Gary.
Just think Jeff has had the better wins and experience, and might just get the home decision, which I hope not.”
Kevin Campion, Promoter
“I would love to see Corcoran do it, but I think it will be difficult to get decision out there.
Gary is tough, rugged, come-forward fighter but he isn’t a known puncher and out in Horn’s backyard, it will be tough.
I think the first few rounds will be close, Frank [Greaves] will have had Gary in great shape and this is Gary’s World Cup, he has nothing to lose.
The hope is Horn has overlooked Corcoran and hasn’t prepared properly and gets found out in the later rounds.
But, I think the decision will go to the current champion and home town boy, Horn.”
Mark Tibbs, Trainer
“Gary, in my opinion, will seize this opportunity and I’d expect him to have grown out of that headstrong mentality and break this guy down round by round, bit by bit.
It’s all about being calm and focused, that means listening to his coach in charge, Frank Greaves.
I spent a lot of time with Gary, he’s clever, but it must be ongoing and constant, the man has the heart of a lion. I can’t wait!”
Matt Marsh, Former British Champion
“I like Gary Corcoran, but I think Jeff Horn has got this fight on a points win, only reason he’s been in with Manny Pacquiao and he would have learnt so much from that fight.
I hope I’m wrong because I’d like to see Gary win the fight.
Good luck to Gary!”
Nathan Weise, Southern Area Title Contender
"I predict Corcoran to win on points in a slugfest fight.
I want Gary to win, he deserves it, I've seen his journey."
Steve Wood, VIP Promotions
“Honestly do not know much about Horn but would expect him to win on points, after his big win over Pacquiao.
They originally picked Bradley Skeete but homework then told them to change opponent.
Gary Corcoran, who is decent, fit and determined may upset the apple cart, but it is more likely the Aussies have got the pick right.”
Mickey Ellison, Super-middleweight Prospect
"I'm not really familiar with either fighter, to be honest.
I now Jeff Horn for his win over Manny Pacquiao and Gary Corcoran from his grudge fight with Liam Williams.
I undrstand they are both aggressive fighters so I expect it to be a war while it lasts.
Got to go with your own so I'll side with Gary Corcoran."
Justin Johnson, Super-middleweight
"I'd like to Corcoran win but will be a good fight as Jeff Horn beat one of my favourite fighters - Manny Pacquiao.
I'm gonna' go with Jeff Horn to win."
Danny Flexen, Boxing Writer
“I expect a fun fight, initially, that becomes messy and bloody quite quickly.
Corcoran is huge for the weight and can hold his own in the clinches, but Horn should have the extra bit of class and purpose, given he will be a big crowd favourite.
Corcoran can emerge with credit, but Horn should win this via corner retirement or technical decision around the ninth.”
Frankie Jay Lee, Boxing Trainer assisting Frank Greaves
“I have lived in Australia for the last three years and I have seen Jeff Horn first-hand many times.
I was also sat ringside at the Pac-Man fight in Brisbane (PacMan got robbed blind in Australia), he comfortably beat Jeff that night.
Gary has what it takes to beat Horn, that’s for sure, as Horn is average, at best! He has terrible feet, leads with his head, drops his right hand every time he throws the jab and squares up all too often.
In my opinion, Gary can stop Horn between rounds seven to 12, as Horn doesn’t like it to the body and everyone in boxing knows he’s done the weight all wrong for this fight.
Gary has more power in those hands than his record suggests and, win, lose or draw, I back the kid 100 per cent!
It’s going to be an exciting night, so tune in and back your man Gary Corcoran!”
Tim Rickson, Sports Agent
“Gary Corcoran is a client of mine so, of course, I will be siding with him. However, even if he wasn’t on my books, I’d still be backing him to win.
Horn has admitted two things to the press that I think will be his downfall:
Firstly, he candidly shared his love for chocolate and bad foods and subsequently piled on the weight after winning the WBO title in July.
Secondly, he has stated that his life has been a bit of a blur since beating the eight-weight world champion. As such, he is being a little arrogant and presumptuous by completely overlooking his next opponent by lining up lucrative fights for next year. He’s either talking about a rematch with Pacquiao or unification bouts with Crawford, and treating Gary, a two-weight WBO Inter-Continental champion, ranked #10 in the WBO, as a stepping stone - that's not sensible, in my opinion.
It’s very disrespectful, but I know, first hand, that Gary is loving the fact that he is being so easily dismissed. He’s happy to punish the Aussie for overlooking him on Wednesday.
I should also mention the conditioning of these two fighters – Corcoran looks every bit the champion, but Horn is fleshy and, reportedly, struggled to lose the weight. Gary lives the life, the ex-schoolteacher does not.
Lastly, being the underdog means there’s no pressure on the challenger, it all falls heavily onto the national hero’s shoulders instead, who’s heavily pregnant wife will be sitting ringside – another distraction added.
I pick Gary to win on points, provided there’s a level playing field.”
Carl Greaves, Promoter
“Having seen Gary close up with sparring David Avanesyan, I feel he has a great chance of winning, especially with Jeff really struggling to make weight.
Gary has a great engine and is very tough, I think the Horn camp have underestimated him and will be in for a shock.
My only concern is if it goes to the score cards, but I've got a feeling Gary is going pull this off and really hope he does.”
Joe Neale, Boxing Agent
“I think this is going to be a very messy fight, the referee will be key.
Horn likes to use his head and Gary uses rough-house tactics, but, as fair as you can be, it’s still boxing at the end of the day.
Unless it’s stopped by cuts or injury, which it could, I think Horn just edges Corcoran on points in a scrappy but entertaining fight.”
Niall Doran, Boxing News & Views
“Good, close fight, style-wise, potentially.
I can see Corcoran probably outworking Horn and just wanting it that bit more and likely deserving to get the win over the distance, but then possibly falling victim to a controversial decision as the away fighter.
Always tough for an away fighter going abroad so he'll have to make it convincing.
Heart says Corcoran by unanimous decision. Head says Horn by split decision.”
Lenny Fuller, Debutant
"I'm going to go with Corcoran.
I think a lot of people are writing Gary off but I think he's relentless and his power will definitely trouble Horn in the early rounds, but I think if he keeps the pace up and wears Horn down, he has got a great chance!
He's strong, got wicked body shots and he's a traveller - got to stick with your own!"
George Lacey, Sports Journalist
“The momentum will carry through from the Pacquaio fight and serve Horn well, back on home soil.
I think he'll also want to put on a show in his first defence of the WBO crown after the rematch with Pacman didn't materialise.
There are rumours Horn is struggling with the weight, but I still feel he'll get the job done within the distance in Brisbane.
He had the win of his life last time out and defied the odds, albeit against an out-of-sorts and ageing Manny Pacquaio.
Gary Corcoran will realise he's been handed perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity and will prepare accordingly but Horn will have enough to win inside the distance.”
Jack Jacobs, Boxing Writer
"I think this makes for a really interesting match-up, we have two come-forward fighters meeting head on in the ring.
I believe Jeff Horn won't adopt the brawling style we saw him display vs Manny pacquiao earlier in the year, as he will have somthing to lose this fight.
For me, Gary is the more refined boxer and if he can get into rythm in the fight early on and not let Jeff break up his game-plan too much, I see a win on points for Corcoran.
Two factors could play a key part in the outcome of the fight. No.1, Jeff Horn was pushed to drop weight early to the deadline and this may have taken its toll on his preparations, he may come in undernourished and lacking explosive power and stamina in the later rounds.
And No.2, Jeff took an injury to his left eye during camp three weeks ago that required stitches, this could also prove a target for Gary Corcoran in the fight. If Jeff maintains a tight guard he will not have the brawler tactics seen previously, or Gary could open this cut up early on, possibly leading to a lack of vision for Jeff and potentially a withdrawal in the fight, although I don't have Jeff down as any sort of quitter.
Gary Corcoran to win on points."