If you were someone who believed Manny Pacquiao was robbed in the Battle of Brisbane, then Jeff Horn’s dismantling at the hands of Terence Crawford in June was all the ammunition you needed to prove your point.
That’s why when Horn decided to take the Aussie ‘mega fight’ with Anthony Mundine in his comeback, he was essentially risking his international future for a small fortune.
For him to come out looking good from the Mundine bout, he had to be perfect.
Good thing he was.
A 96-second demolition job scuppered most of the ‘you just beat a 43-year-old’ takes, and instead set Horn, his trainer Glenn Rushton, and promoter Dean Lonergan up splendidly to once again launch an assault on boxing’s elite.
“We’ll be looking at all opportunities in three weight divisions,” Rushton told reporters in the aftermath of the River City Rumble.
“Jeff can fight at welterweight … I think he showed tonight he can easily adapt to either super welterweight … or even middleweight.
Rushton again called for a rematch with Crawford, but this time on home soil.
“I think everyone in Australia knows that I want Crawford,” Rushton said. “I know Jeff can beat Crawford, and I’d love to see them back at Suncorp Stadium.”
There are other options, though:
“I’d love to see Jeff against Alvarez. I’d dearly love to see Alvarez come to either super welterweight or middleweight,” Rushton added.
“I know that he’s gone up to fight at super middleweight, but he has fought his last welterweight in a loss to Floyd Mayweather; his only loss. And I would dearly love that fight against Alvarez.
“But then again, there’s a lot of great talent at super welterweight. There’s the likes of [Jermell] Charlo, there’s [Jarrett] Hurd, there’s [Jaime] Munguia — great boxers. They’re big guys, too. They’re tough guys.
“So there’s a lot of opportunities around. Jeff and I, and Dean, will be having a chat about all of these opportunities.”
Lonergan revealed he’d already communicated with legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum, and that further discussions will take place.
“As you know, Bob’s one of the biggest promoters in the world,” Lonergan told reporters.
“He’s got a long-time deal with ESPN — we were broadcast back in America.
“Bob texted me only ten minutes ago to pass on congratulations to Jeff [on] a massive effort.
“So we’ll talk to Bob in the very near future.”
Obviously, it’s far too early to tell whether this performance has done anything to change minds overseas, but if Lonergan and co. can make magic happen, again, Horn will come out looking a genius for taking this Mundine fight.