Jeff Horn’s suggestion that he’ll “rag doll” Tim Tszyu in their super welterweight battle in Townsville, Australia, has been shrugged off by the younger fighter, who says he’s happy to “bang it out” and win ugly on Wednesday.
Former WBO welterweight champion Horn meets unbeaten world-ranked super welterweight Tszyu at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with Tszyu the favourite against the man who upset Manny Pacquiao three years ago.
Horn, 32, will trade on that stadium experience and his awkward, bustling style against the son of Australian boxing great Kostya Tszyu.
Having dropped a division for the super welterweight fight, Horn was surprised to hear Tszyu claim that he was within 500g of the 70kg mark 24 hours from Tuesday’s weigh-in.
The Brisbane boxer expects to blow out to 75kg by fight night and insinuated that Tszyu, unbeaten in 15 fights, might have stripped too soon.
“I think it’s silly. I don’t know if he’s lying, but telling me he’s only 70.5kg … I’ll be throwing him around like a rag doll if he’s that light,” Horn said.
“It’s a massive size difference. I can’t believe him … how crazy to [already] be 70.5 for a 69.85 fight.”
The 25-year-old laughed off the suggestion that he’d be giving away a size difference, claiming that he will be able to stack it back on with the help of a Vietnamese feast after weigh-in.
“I’ll be even heavier [than Horn], let’s say that,” he said.
“Rag doll, what’s that mean? If he wants to play those games, we will play those games as well. It’s quite simple. It’s a fight. We’re not ballerinas in there. He’s going to be punching me. I’m going to be punching him, of course. He’s not going to be patting my head.
“Sometimes you want to get into a war … If it gets dirty, it gets dirty. I can bang it out.”
There have been plenty of sideshows ahead of the bout, with Monday’s media conference beginning with another faux argument about who should walk out second.
It’s likely that Horn will get the honour, despite Tszyu’s being the current Australian belt holder.
Tszyu could retire Horn with victory, and Jeff Fenech has tipped a knockout victory for the elder statesman, Horn.
There remains plenty of respect between the two boxers.
“I don’t want to ever say I’m going to knock a guy out,” Horn said.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for his family. His dad’s an absolute legend. … It’s going to be very tough fight and an even tougher fight for Tim Tszyu.”