Jeff Horn, the Brisbane Olympian affectionately known as ‘The World’s Toughest School Teacher’ and making international headlines in the welterweight division dominated by Floyd Mayweather, faces a tough homecoming in Brisbane on March 2, with the reward being a potential world title shot inside 18 months.
The 27 year old will face three-time world champion Randall Bailey who has won 46 of his 55 professional bouts with an impressive knockout percentage of 71 percent.
Nicknamed ‘The Knockout King’, The American will arrive in Australia having recently won the WBO Asia Pacific welterweight title he won in Korea in October.
Horn will be looking to add that title to the four regional titles he already has won in just 14 professional bouts.
The Queenslander will also defend his WBO Oriental and IBF Inter-Continental titles with the winner almost certain to rise further up the world rankings.
Having fought in New Zealand for nearly two years, Horn will now fight exclusively in Australia in 2016 with all his bouts screening live on Fox Sports in a multi-fight deal with New Zealand promoter, Duco Events.
The deal Duco has secured with Fox is expected to reinvigorate boxing in Australia over the next three years and beyond.
“We are definitely taking a bit of a risk in Jeff fighting a seasoned fighter like Randall Bailey in a high profile homecoming bout,” said promoter, Dean Lonergan.
“I have to be confident Jeff can win because he has beaten his last five opponents, who were all rated inside the top 15.
“We’ve got him on a fast track to a world title shot but a loss now would definitely set us back after all the work we’ve put in.
“However, Jeff never disappoints and he knows a win against someone with the class of Bailey can set us up for a seriously big 2016.”
Horn’s ability to handle the pressure is not in question, with boxing critics firm in their belief he is the best prospect to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech graced the ring more than 20 years ago.
“This bout is going to give us a great assessment of where we are,” said Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton.
“Bailey is a vastly experienced boxer to Jeff and he is not afraid to throw plenty of leather.
“We are in for a serious test but a good win should enhance our chances of making the top five in the world rankings which would put us in striking distance of the world title.”
Horn is world rated WBO#7; IBF#8 and WBA#12.
Duco has been promoting boxing events since 2009 including high-profile bouts involving former heavyweight contender, David Tua.
New Zealand boxing sensation, Joseph Parker is part of the Duco stable and expected to become the mandatory challenger to the heavyweight title sometime in 2016.
Parker, who is ranked WB0#3, WBC#7, IBF#10, WBA#11, is capturing the world’s imagination with his recent bouts screening live on ESPN in America.
Duco will also be opening up the European market to Australasian boxers later in the year through its world ranked polish heavyweight, Izu Ugonoh, with a deal about to be signed to broadcast all his bouts on Polsat.