Why Corcoran can be Horn’s worst nightmare
JEFF Horn has suffered all his life from the anxiety condition of claustrophobia and Gary Corcoran promises to be his worst nightmare in their world title fight on Wednesday night.
Corcoran, a man with nothing to lose and with no restraints, presents a huge danger for Horn in their WBO welterweight title fight at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Horn has an overwhelming fear of being constrained in tight places and Corcoran has promised to suffocate him for 12 rounds in wild close-quarters combat.
While Horn is now making million-dollar purses, the London gypsy lives in a caravan and has been fighting and surviving big hits all his life from the time he was 18 months old and got hit by a van when playing on the street.
He still has a prominent surgical scar across his stomach as a reminder. Last year he narrowly avoided being caught up in a gangland hit when six masked killers burst into a fight weigh-in at a Dublin hotel and shot an Irish crime lord.
Corcoran, 27, thrives in a tough and dangerous world.
He has eight brothers who have all been champion boxers and he has been punching people since he could walk. He was suspended from school 19 times for kicking, punching and headbutting and says he can't wait to take revenge on the Fighting Schoolteacher.
When he was very young Corcoran's boxing coach called him "Hellraiser''. He takes it as a compliment amid a huge rambunctious family of 12 children and a tribute to the fact that he admits he was a "bit of a lunatic'' growing up.
That unpredictability of the wiry challenger gives Horn private cause for concern despite his public show of confidence. After all, the fear of the dark unknown has gripped him all his life.
"For some reason at an early age I developed claustrophobia, which still plagues me,'' Horn said.
"If you combine darkness with a narrow space I can go to pieces.
"On chilly nights when I was a kid, my dad would wrap my brother Ben and me in blankets and I would freak out. I hated being tightly constrained and I still do. Being trapped in a small dark place is a fear that haunts my worst nightmares. I have a constant dread of getting stuck in an elevator and not being able to see where I am. Even on kids' rides in tight, dark places I can feel myself starting to get panicky.''
Corcoran is banking on Horn getting panicky as he is assailed from all angles and confined in the small space where he plans to trap him inside the boxing ring.
The gypsy wild man is still "a bit of a lunatic'' in his fighting style, wild and erratic, with constant pressure, constant aggression and a constant stream of punches.
He has accused Horn of headbutting and his line about being willing to bite in retaliation was only half in jest.
"I've been fighting my whole life,'' Corcoran says.
"Jeff has never fought anyone like me.
"I'm bigger, younger, fresher and I've fought bigger people than he has. I know I'm physically stronger too and you will see that on the night.
"He's already talking about fighting Terence Crawford next. I'm not thinking about fighting anyone else. Just him. I've trained for 12 hard rounds to be his worst nightmare.''