Horn’s plan to expose Tszyu’s questionable heart
Jeff Horn predicts that the fighting heart he showed in battling through the cauldron of pain in epic victories against Manny Pacquiao and Michael Zerafa will be too much for the younger and less experienced Tim Tszyu when they clash on April 22.
Three years ago The Courier-Mail brought Horn and Tszyu together for the first time, posing the pair for a photograph featuring Australia's hottest fighter and a fresh faced young fan who had won five professional fights.
Three years later Tszyu is now favourite to end Horn's career.
As the two fighters came face to face in Sydney, Tszyu said he was among the 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium for the Pacquiao fight and realised that anything was possible in boxing.
Horn, though, is adamant that Tszyu does not possess the experience to beat him and he says he will test out the youngster's heart and chin as soon as he can.
Tszyu is a significant favourite for the fight even though Horn has beaten Pacquiao, former world champs Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka and eventually overpowered Zerafa, a world-rated middleweight.
Tszyu's best wins have come against worn out Englishman Denton Vassell and Australian fighters Joel Camilleri, Dwight Ritchie and Jack Brubaker.
"I've proved myself on the world stage in the toughest way you can,'' Horn said. "And I've proved I can win when the chips are down.
"Can Tim turn it around when he's badly hurt? If I hit him like I did Zerafa how will he react? I hit harder than the guys Tim has beaten and I'm more experienced in big fights.
"I will be going after him from the first bell to make sure he knows straight away that he's in over his head.''
The Courier-Mail brought Horn and Tszyu together for their first meeting in May 2017.
Horn was preparing to face Pacquiao and Tszyu arrived at Horn's gym to meet the brave underdog who was about to score one of the most important wins in Australian boxing history.
Back then Tszyu told me that he hated being known only as "Kostya's son'' and that he was determined to emerge from the shadow of his father, perhaps the greatest light-welterweight ever.
On Tuesday, though, Horn said it was only the "Tszyu'' name that had earned Tim this fight.
"I wouldn't have taken this fight if his last name wasn't Tszyu," Horn said.
"After beating Zerafa (on December 18) I wanted to chase another world title fight. But Tim has the name and that has sparked a lot of public interest.
"He's doing well and fought some world class opponents but I aim on being a lot tougher than anyone he's faced.''
Horn knows Tszyu will immediately target the scar tissue around his eyes looking for a stoppage on a cut eye, but he said he had complete faith in cutman Stephen Edwards and he was backing his own power shots to throw Tszyu's radar jab and right hand out of kilter.
There is still no decision on which Australian city will host the fight.