Jeff Horn with his brother, Ben. Picture: Getty
Jeff Horn with his brother, Ben. Picture: Getty

Huge money but Horn v Mundine a family affair

Jeff Horn and Anthony Mundine are set to make upwards of $2.5 million each from tonight's River City Rumble at Suncorp Stadium, but both say money is not the most important thing in their lives. It's family.

Mundine has the names of his five children - Rahim, Malik, Lillant (Anthony Jr), Ayishah and Jada tattooed on his arms, neck and over his heart - and his entourage in Brisbane for the last month of his preparation has been just his mum Lyn and his dad, Tony, once the Commonwealth middleweight and light-heavyweight champion.

Tony has trained Anthony throughout his career and he will be supported in the corner tonight by Brisbane boxing coach Chris McCullen, who has been a key figure in Team Mundine for the last six years.

Horn is such a family guy that for his last overseas holiday he was accompanied to America and Canada by wife Jo, baby Isabelle, his mum, Liza Dykstra, and his wife's parents.

They will all be part of a huge family contingent supporting him ringside tonight, that includes dad Jeff Sr and sisters Rebecca and Bianca.

 

Anthony Mundine trains with his dad and trainer, Tony. Picture: Getty
Anthony Mundine trains with his dad and trainer, Tony. Picture: Getty

 

His chief cornerman, as always, will be younger brother Ben who makes his professional boxing debut on the undercard.

Like Jeff, Ben is a new father and at 29 knows he has to make a move if he is to establish a boxing career of his own.

He has sparred Jeff throughout his preparation for the Mundine fight and after 16 amateur bouts, makes his professional debut against Townsville prospect Lachlan O'Shea in a 68kg fight this afternoon.

About four hours later, he will be assisting Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton in his brother's corner along with master cutman Stephen Edwards and Horn's friend Adam Copland, another rising prospect in Australian boxing.

"It will be great having Ben on the same show,'' Horn said.

"We have been fighting battles together since we were little kids living on an acreage at Pallara in Brisbane. We had plenty of places to play hide and seek with our neighbours or to have our little war games with cap guns.

 

Jeff Horn with his brother, Ben. Picture: Getty
Jeff Horn with his brother, Ben. Picture: Getty

 

"Our closeness for more serious battles was forged in those early days. Ben has always had my back and I'm grateful that he has been a big part of my boxing team ever since I started in the sport.''

In a sense, Ben has already had one fight at Suncorp.

Before Horn's win over Manny Pacquiao last year Rushton was wrapping Horn's fists in the time-honoured practice that fighters go through before a bout to stop their hands breaking.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, who was watching on in Horn's dressing room, objected with the preposterous complaint that only white tape could be used.

Ben laughed at the idea that they had to change tape because of the colour and Roach, who is notorious for playing mind games with opponents, exploded with anger, using a series of expletives.

"Freddie became unhinged when Ben niggled him further and he threatened to punch on there and then with my brother,'' Horn said.

"I know Freddie was a pretty good lightweight boxer in his day, but if they'd come to blows my money was on Ben. He's a strong, aggressive guy and he can really fight.''

News Corp Australia


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