Fighting words: Corcoran camp claims Horn is 'dirty'
BOXING: Gary Corcoran's trainer Frank Greaves has taken a swing at Jeff Horn's style in order to try and score some points with the judges before a punch is thrown, insisting that Horn is a "dirty fighter” ahead of their WBO welterweight title fight in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
Two days before trading blows at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Horn and Corcoran found themselves amid a verbal barrage on Monday as the customary pre-fight press conference turned personal.
Corcoran's camp was insistent that Horn not only receives preferable treatment inside the ring but that a hometown crowd will also influence the judges in a fight both camps expect to go the full 12 rounds.
Greaves stressed time and again his point that Horn has a tendency to lead with his head - to the point where he brandished a laptop pre-loaded with footage taken from a number of Horn's previous fights to illustrate his point.
That sparked a heated exchange between Greaves, fellow trainer Peter Stanley and members of Horn's entourage seated in the crowd and forced the 30-year-old's long-time trainer Glenn Rushton to counter any accusation that his man fights dirty.
The war of words began with Horn sponsor Phil Murphy taking aim at Corcoran and suggesting it would have been safer had he stayed at home and tried to punch through a brick wall, Corcoran was blindsided by even the money men having a shot at him.
Given Corcoran's background as a gypsy with eight brothers who has had to scrap for what he could get every day of his life, Greaves welcomed the prospect of the fight getting down and dirty but sought to put pressure on the officials by asking for Horn's use of the head to be monitored.
"I respect Jeff as a fighter. He's physically strong, he's tough, but he is dirty,” Greaves said.
"There is absolutely no question that he is dirty.
"All I want is a level playing field. Gary can go into the trenches with anyone in the world provided we get a level playing field.”
When asked to describe the vision he was displaying on his computer, Greaves left no doubt as to the "dirty” tactic he believed Horn has employed in previous bouts.
"Headbutting,” was Greaves' blunt response. "Leading in with his head, leaves his head in there all the time.
"I just want to draw attention to that fact because provided we get a level playing field we win the fight.”
Greaves even brandished a hat with a boxing glove taped to the front to further illustrate where he believes Horn's main attacking weapon is situated but that was merely greeted with mirth by the mild-mannered champion.
Replacing his name tag with the world title belt he won in dramatic circumstances over Manny Pacquaio less than six months ago as he took his seat, Horn brushed off concerns about making weight on Tuesday and let Rushton answer Greaves's disparaging pre-fight tactics.
"Jeff is not a dirty fighter. He never fights dirty. Quite the opposite,” Rushton countered.
"He does not lead with his head, he has never intentionally headbutted anyone, I train him not to do that.
"He fights clean, we do everything to try and avoid head clashes because we don't want to see a fight end that way whatsoever.
"You'll get a level playing field but it won't be good enough. The more level it is the more advantage will swing to Jeff Horn.
"Whatever you want to bring to the fight, whether you grab the barstool from the corner, we're ready for anything.
"I am absolutely 100 per cent convinced that Jeff is ready for anything that Gary can bring to the table come Wednesday night.”