Jo and Jeff Horn with Isabelle. Picture: Annette Dew
Jo and Jeff Horn with Isabelle. Picture: Annette Dew

Horn’s family worry as title fight looms

JEFF Horn is preparing to face the biggest, hardest-punching opponent of his life but his greatest concern is how the fight will affect his pregnant wife Jo and daughter Isabelle.

Brisbane's former world welterweight champion has started his strength and conditioning program with fitness guru Dundee Kim as he steels himself for a "David and Goliath'' battle against lanky Texan world middleweight champ Rob Brant in Brisbane in late May.

Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan says while he is "deep in negotiations'' with the American he is yet to seal the deal but Brant is such a giant hurdle to overcome that Horn is getting in early with his preparation.

At 184cm Brant is 9cm taller than Horn and he will come into the fight with a big KO percentage (17 knockouts in 25 wins) against much bigger fighters than the Brisbane boxer.

"He's certainly a big challenge,'' Horn said.

"Much taller than me and with a career in the middleweight (72.3kg) division while I've been fighting at welterweight (66.6kg).

"I saw his last fight when Brant stopped the Russian (Khasan Baysangurov) and Brant is a very good fighter but I do believe that I have the ability to beat him.

"I'm training now to chop down the tree.''

Jeff and Jo Horn with daughter Isabelle. Picture: Annette Dew
Jeff and Jo Horn with daughter Isabelle. Picture: Annette Dew

Horn's wife Jo is due to deliver their second baby in June and the boxer says he is even more stressed by the impending birth than the thought of facing the big, hard-hitting WBA middleweight champ.

"I went through a lot of extra stress when my daughter Isabelle was born (in December 2017). It was around the time that I was fighting Gary Corcoran and it makes it very hard to train when your first thoughts are with your family.

``I'm hoping the deal for the fight can be sorted soon and that it is not too close to when Jo goes into hospital.''

If Horn can beat the big Texan he will become one of the few fighters in history to have held the world welterweight and middleweight titles along with the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Miguel Cotto.

But he admits it will be enormous task.

Jeff Horn after beating Anthony Mundine. Picture: Annette Dew
Jeff Horn after beating Anthony Mundine. Picture: Annette Dew

At 28 Brant is not only bigger than Horn but three years younger. He has never lost a fight at middleweight and his only defeat was on points when facing German super-middleweight (76kg) Juergen Braehmer in 2017.

In the last year Brant has hit a purple patch with a stunning upset over Japan's Olympic gold medallist Ryota Murata to win the WBA middleweight title in October with a landslide decision.

Two weeks ago he was similarly aggressive, dropping Baysangurov twice and winning almost every round before the fight was stopped in the 11th.

Brant's workrate, combination punching and movement are his hallmarks.

Meanwhile, Brisbane's world No.11 light-heavyweight Reagan Dessaix dropped a 10-round decision to world No.7 Blake Caparello in Melbourne on Friday night.

News Corp Australia


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