Choc conqueror’s ‘bloody’ good advice for Horn
Garth Wood, the battling rugby league player who famously knocked out Anthony Mundine in a real-life Rocky moment, says Jeff Horn faces disaster at Suncorp Stadium on Friday week unless he turns the bout into a bloody brawl.
"I've known Choc (Mundine) since we were kids growing up together in Sydney,'' Wood said.
"He is a confidence fighter and if he wins a round or two early then boom - he lifts to a new gear it will be tough for Horn to turn him back''.
Wood played 25 games for the Rabbitohs and Tigers before a brief but spectacular boxing career that included winning the television reality show "The Contender''. His fighting style relied on brute strength and intimidation.
"Horn is coming off a bit of a bashing in his last fight from Terence Crawford who is supposed to be the best fighter in the world today so I don't know if he is going to be the same fighter who beat Manny Pacquiao last year,'' Wood said.
"We know Horn has a huge heart. The day he beat Pacquiao reminded me so much of Jeff Fenech in his prime. If Horn can fight Fenech-style against Choc (Mundine) then he has a good chance, especially with the fight at 71kg and Choc having to boil down in weight.''
In 2010 Wood stunned Mundine and the Australian boxing industry by going after the former world champ from the opening bell in their Sydney battle and swarming all over him, throwing punches from all angles.
He gave Mundine little room to move and as Mundine tried to fight him off and get some distance for his counter-punches in Round 5, Wood landed a screaming left hook to the jaw that dropped him for the count.
"I got in close and roughed him up. I hit him with my shoulder and used all sorts of rough tactics,'' Wood said.
"Horn has to do the same thing. To win he has to rough Choc up and manhandle him as much as he can within the rules. He has to break Choc's confidence. If you manhandle Choc and crack his defence then you have a chance to land the clean punches like I did. But let him get his range and he is lightning fast.''
Wood, who lost a brutal rematch by decision against Mundine at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in 2011, predicts an exciting battle next week.
"I think the weight limit of 71kg is going to be a big factor,'' he said.
"Normally boxers go up in weight as they get older but Choc is doing the reverse and it has to take a toll. Horn should be a lot stronger because he is going up in weight from his usual weight of 67kg.''
Under the rules Mundine, who weighed as much as 86kg when he was playing rugby league for St George and the Broncos almost 20 years ago, has to be 71kg the day before the fight and then no more than 75kg on the day of the fight. He faces a penalty of $1 million if he is 2kg above the limits.
"Choc hasn't done himself any favours with the weight limits,'' Wood said.
"I don't know why he agreed to it. He must be very confident that he can outbox Horn.''