BRISBANE, Australia -- Jeff Horn ensured he would ring in the new year as the WBO welterweight champion of the world after defeating Gary Corcoran by technical knockout in front of a packed Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
The Australian, who upset Manny Pacquiao in a hugely controversial fight earlier in the year to first claim the title, was made to work in the early rounds before putting on an assault in the ninth and tenth rounds to leave Corcoran's trainer Frank Greaves throwing in the towel midway through the 11th.
The win keeps Horn's undefeated professional record in tact (18-0-1, 11 KOs) and has all but sewn up a bout with Terence Crawford in Las Vegas next year.
"I felt my timing was a bit off tonight but I got him in the end," Horn said. "I knew he was coming here prepared. They were talking a smart game... they definitely pushed me in there."
Horn, 29, took an aggressive approach into the fight but it didn't take long for the Queenslander to appear fatigued and by the end of round six, both fighters looked to be on an even keel.
Corcoran, a 27-year-old traveller from London who to this point in his career was yet to face-off in any notable, high-profile bout, lived up to his billing as a tough fighter that refuses to take a backwards step.
He came at Horn and demanded the inside while on a number of occasions even looked to throw punches after the bell had sounded.
However, when Horn ratcheted up the intensity at the beginning of the ninth round, Corcoran simply couldn't go with him. The ferocity continued into the tenth and eleventh rounds before Greaves said enough was enough.
Earlier in the week, the Corcoran camp accused Horn of 'fighting dirty' in previous bouts and repeatedly discredited his world title win over Pacquiao in July by claiming the legendary Filipino was well past his prime.
However, the smack-talk had little impact on Horn who now looks set for an action-packed 2018.