WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn is backing his Stretton Boxing Club teammate Dennis Hogan 26-1-1 (7) to defeat Jimmy Kilrain Kelly 23-1 (9) in their junior middleweight world title eliminator this weekend at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
The victor of this bout will be in the box seat to challenge the winner of Sadam “World Kid” Ali’s WBO junior middleweight title defence against Liam “Beefy” Smith scheduled to take place on May 12 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona in upstate New York.
The 33-year-old Brisbane-based Irishman was recently elevated to number two in the WBO’s rankings, with Mancunian Kelly has moved up to number three.
“It’s very motivating for me to see the commitment Dennis has to his boxing,” Horn told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail.
“The fight with Kelly will be a great bout and I think Dennis can win it and go on to take a world title.”
Horn, who claimed his world title with a 12-round points win over former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane last July, shares the same trainer as Hogan in Glenn Rushton.
“It will really be something to have two world champs from the Stretton gym,” said Horn.
The Hogan versus Kelly bout tops a talent-rich card promoted by DDP Sports that includes a light heavyweight clash between world ranked Damien Hooper and knockout artist Renold Quinlan, hot cruiserweight prospect Jai Opetaia up against once-beaten Russian Lukas Paszkowsky and unbeaten middleweight Tim Tszyu is in against fellow undefeated fighter Ruben Webster of New Zealand.
Also on the card female boxer Deanha Hobbs will meet Arlene Blencowe, welterweight Nathan Webber is matched with Natalius Cipong and former amateur star Joe Goodall has his professional debut against Lui Te’o in a heavyweight contest.
The show will be streamed live on Epicentre.tv.