Horn-Mundine set to light up the night
JEFF Horn has started training to face Anthony Mundine at Suncorp Stadium on a Saturday night in November in what his team predicts will be the biggest night of boxing ever held in Australia.
Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton has told him that he must "dazzle'' from the opening bell against Mundine and show Australia that he still has "the eye of the tiger'' and is hungry to climb back to the top of the sport.
Rushton said the program being planned would be the most extravagant and stunning night the Australian fight game has seen.
"We want to turn this into a mega night of boxing, a really spectacular event that Brisbane will never forget,'' Rushton said.
"Jeff beating Manny Pacquiao last year was a huge daytime fight to suit American television. But my attitude is, 'Stuff America', this is an Australian event with Australian talent and I want to see Suncorp lit up for a great night of boxing that will advertise the sport in this country like nothing else.''
Horn will begin working with conditioning guru Dundee Kim on Thursday as he looks to supplement his boxing training with Rushton, well aware that Mundine is preparing to be in the best physical and mental condition of his 18-year career.
"We are close to agreeing on the deal,'' Rushton said. "But what I am very adamant about is that this has to be a Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.
"I want this to be a prime-time event and I want to recreate a State of Origin feel for boxing.
"People will come to the fight and go, 'Wow, that was really something'.''
Rushton said while Mundine was a dangerous opponent, Horn was being prepared to score a sensational win inside the distance.
The deal for the fight is expected to be finalised within a week as a co-promotion between the two camps.
Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan is planning a meeting in Sydney on Thursday with Tristan Hay, who was instrumental in staging Mundine's rematch with Danny Green at the Adelaide Oval last year.
Mundine's adviser Emaid Dib said they had offered Horn a straightforward deal, with both teams to pay their own expenses and then split all revenue from ticket and pay-per-view sales straight down the middle.
"Anthony's first fight with Green generated 200,000 pay-per-view sales worth more than $10 million and we believe this fight could be bigger,'' Dib said.
"It is the biggest bout in Australia at the moment and it could be the biggest payday of Jeff's career. It's a great combination. Jeff drew more than 51,000 to see him beat Pacquiao last year while Anthony has been the biggest pay-per-view drawcard ever in Australia.''
Dib is negotiating the fight deal while also preparing his brother Billy to fight American Tevin Farmer for the world super-featherweight title in Sydney next week in a fight being televised by Fox Sports.
Rushton said he hoped both parties would soon resolve the financial issues around Horn-Mundine.
"We are certainly negotiating in good faith,'' Rushton said.
"Dean has put together a very detailed proposal about the event and we just have to iron out a few of the issues to do with a joint promotion.
"Dean is used to doing things his way and that doesn't necessarily suit the Mundine team.
"But I think it's going to come off and it's going to be brilliant.''
Rushton said he was still smarting over Horn losing his world welterweight title to Terence Crawford in Las Vegas on June 10.
"I know at his best, and following my plan, Jeff can beat Crawford,'' he said.
"I have no doubt that if we bring Crawford back to Australia we can turn the tables.
"A dazzling win over Anthony Mundine will be the first step.''