23/05/2024

In a rematch of his 2018 debut loss, Ben Horn will be out for revenge against Lachie O'Shea on Saturday night - Photo: Ben Horn/Facebook

Spurred on by his loss to Lachlan O'Shea in 2018, Ben Horn has victory and a Queensland title in his sights ahead of their rematch on Saturday night at ACE Boxing Group's Unfinished Business show.

As Ben ‘The Hunter’ Horn (4-2) prepares for his Queensland Welterweight title bout on Saturday night, leaving the ring with championship gold wrapped around his waist is just one of two goals occupying his mind.

The other can only be described as revenge.

When Horn first battled Lachlan O’Shea (6-2, 4 KOs) in December 2018, a bout in which both fighters made their professional debut, he found himself well in control as the bell sounded to end the third round. In fact, each judge had the fight scored 30-27 to that point.

As is the case in all sports, momentum can ebb and flow, and boxing may produce the harshest effects of these swings.

Just 30 seconds into the final stanza, O’Shea threw a thunderous overhand right that caught Horn flush, knocking him off balance against the ropes. The follow up punches then provided enough evidence for the referee to step in and stop proceedings.

In less than a minute, the fight had turned full circle in the cruelest fashion.

Now almost three years after their first encounter, the pair will meet again in the eight-round main event of ACE Boxing Group’s ‘Unfinished Business’ card.

Feeling like a more refined fighter, Horn is determined to ensure history does not repeat itself.

“I plan on doing the same thing without the stoppage,” he told The Inner Sanctum.

“In my mind, I’ve gotten a lot fitter. Obviously, it’s over double the four rounds, but I plan on not letting the stoppage come and out boxing him.

“I feel like I’m boxing smarter in that way and my ring IQ is just developing at a high rate.”

Ben Horn and Lachlan O’Shea will battle it out for the Queensland Welterweight title on Saturday night, a fight that will differ greatly from their first bout in 2018

Improvement has not been exclusive though and the 31-year-old is cognisant of the adjustments made by O’Shea since their meeting.

In his most recent bout, the man known as ‘Slick Rick’ won a unanimous decision over David Chand (1-2-1) in August, taking his winning streak to four.

With both combatants shifting their game to a new level, the contest is set to be an enthralling one in Horn’s mind.

“I saw his last fight, he was impressive and had a good win,” he said.

“Every category he’s improved in, but I know deep down I have too so it’s going to be quite an interesting battle this time around.

“May the best man win on the day when it comes to it.”

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The skills and prowess are not the only facets of O’Shea’s game that have been recognised by Horn, however.

Quite common in combat sports, ‘trash talk’ can rear its head during fight week. It can almost be said that the pair go hand in hand. Fighters trading verbal barbs with the goal of creating public intrigue and success at the box office is a well-established practice.

Sometimes, this can cross over a threshold into a realm of genuine animosity.

While this weekend’s rematch is walking rather close to that line, Horn is not losing sight of the value of sportsmanship.

“He’s been talking a lot on social media and running his mouth. He’s got my ears opened,” he said.

“There is a little bit of animosity there, I’m not going to lie. He’s said some things that I feel like he probably shouldn’t have said.

“It’s not played up, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t say I don’t like the man, but there’s definitely going to be some more heat in my shots that’s for sure.

“I’ll shake his hand and give him a hug like I would anyone. I’m sure he’ll be the same.”

To this end, the Stretton Boxing Club product is not short of motivating factors ahead of Saturday.

Whether it be title aspirations, exacting retribution, or gamesmanship that has lit the fire, the fact remains that there is a fierce determination burning inside of Horn. His focus is narrow, fixated on ensuring he walks away a winner.

Much like a lion locks its sight firmly on its prey, so too has ‘The Hunter’ upon victory.

“I’ll find a way, whether it’s on stoppage or on points,” Horn concluded.

“As long as my hand is raised.”

ACE Boxing Group’s Unfinished Business card goes down on the night of Saturday November 20 and can be viewed on their YouTube channel, here

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