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Challengers aplenty if Horn beats Corcoran

Sport

British boxer Amir Khan has joined a growing queue of potential opponents for Jeff Horn, who will put more than just his WBO welterweight championship belt on the line in Brisbane tonight.

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Tens of millions of dollars are at stake for Horn when he meets London-based Irish Traveller Gary Corcoran in a voluntary defence of his world title.

The 29-year-old former schoolteacher will pocket a cool $1 million for the bout, but there is much bigger money on the horizon.

If he beats Corcoran, Horn will meet mandatory challenger Tim Bradley, the unbeaten American who is widely seen as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, next April in Las Vegas.

The winner of that is likely to face Manny Pacquiao, who Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says is apparently keen to return to the ring after dismissing a mooted rematch against Horn at Suncorp Stadium.

But former world champion Amir Khan has also thrown his name in the mix for a possible 2018 bout.

Another star name in the welterweight division, Khan was filming UK TV series I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! at the nearby Springbrook National Park but delayed his departure from Australia when he learned Horn would be in action.

“Horn is a fighter now who is making some noises around the world of boxing,” Khan told reporters.

“Maybe it’s a future fight that can happen – I don’t mind coming to Australia taking that fight.”

Khan was actually in discussions to fight Pacquiao earlier this year but the money for their mooted clash in the United Arab Emirates never materialised, presenting Horn’s management with the opportunity to strike.

“I didn’t know who Jeff was at the time. I was like, who is this guy?” he said

“That’s why I’m here, I want to see what he’s like in person, how he fights. On television it’s a little difficult.

“Instead of chasing Manny Pacquiao, which I’ve been doing for a long, long time, I know someone with a little bit more balls like Jeff Horn will take the fight, probably.”

Khan was asked by Corcoran’s trainers to spar with him in preparation for this fight, his first outside the UK.

But the 31-year-old had to decline because he was recovering from hand surgery and has ended up backing Horn for victory anyway, instead of his compatriot.

“I know Corcoran’s from the UK and I should be backing him. But Horn is the stronger fighter in my opinion and a lot more experienced,” he said.

-AAP

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