Trainer torn between Horn, Hogan
Jeff Horn will be without coach Glenn Rushton for 10 days as he prepares for his crucial rematch with Michael Zerafa in Brisbane next month.
With the highly-anticipated, must-win fight looming, Rushton will be in America helping his other star middleweight Dennis Hogan fight for the world title.
Hogan left Brisbane yesterday for a training camp at Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Rushton will join him there on November 28 ahead of the December 7 WBC title fight with undefeated Texan Jermall Charlo at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In his last fight, Hogan pushed world light-middleweight champ Jaime Munguia to a close decision in Mexico and while Hogan remains a heavy outsider for the Charlo fight, Rushton says both his boxers have the chance to score big wins next month.
Dublin-born Hogan goes into the bout sporting a new tattoo in honour of his grandfather and first coach Paddy Burke, who trained fighters at an old army barracks not far from Hogan's childhood home.
"My grandfather was such an inspiration to me,'' Hogan said.
"He died eight years ago but his spirit is always with me.''
The old man's last words to the budding champion "Give it everything you've got'' are now etched into Hogan's skin.
Rushton said it was ``not ideal'' dividing his time between the two boxers facing such vital bouts but he had to be ``fair'' to both of them.
"Dennis will be without me in America for the first couple of weeks and I will miss three of his sparring sessions and three of Jeff's. But I have a great support team around me who will follow my programs and video the training sessions for me.''
Rushton and Horn remain on target to fight Zerafa on December 18 at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre despite Zerafa still grieving the death of his mate Dwight Ritchie, who died after their sparring session in Melbourne last Saturday.
Zerafa stopped Horn in nine rounds in August in the worst beating the former world welterweight champ has ever suffered and told The Courier-Mail that despite Ritchie's death he was ready to face Horn again.
"Understandably Zerafa would be devastated losing his friend like that,'' Rushton said.
"It's a terrible tragedy and we don't know yet all the circumstances that led to it. But we are preparing to fight on December 18 as planned and Jeff is training three times a day to win the rematch.''
He said Hogan had learned valuable lessons in his controversial loss to Munguia in Monterrey in April.
"A few times Dennis had Munguia in trouble but he didn't jump on him. Jermall Charlo is a more seasoned fighter than Munguia and he has a great chin. But we are giving Dennis every chance we can to become the world middleweight champ.''