Las Vegas: Jeff Horn is at the heartbeat of the boxing world this week as he prepares to defend his world championship in Las Vegas.
Back in Canberra there is a middleweight following the same path by the name of Dave Toussaint – and he has caught the eye of Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton in the process.
Dave Toussaint wants a world title.
Horn (18-0-1) is set to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title against undefeated American star Terence Crawford (32-0) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday (AEST).
Toussaint is preparing for a title bout of his own that will catapult him into the top 15 ranked middleweights, as he eyes the International Boxing Federation Pan Pacific middleweight strap at Capital Fight Show 15 on August 18.
The 26-year-old was invited by Horn's camp to be in attendance for the Brisbane product's world title defence but opted to pass. If Toussaint is going to come to the United States, he is taking a belt home.
"I have plans to fight in Vegas or at Madison Square Garden, either one would be pretty cool. I want to go there for a fight, not just go and watch one," Toussaint said.
"It would be cool to fight there but it would be cooler to headline for a world title over there, so that’s the goal, not just going over to watch.
"I want to get to the top 15 this year, then top five next year, and then a world title the year after. That in itself, it doesn’t really matter where it is.
"They told us last fight we’d get a top 15 world ranking with the WBO but it unfortunately didn’t come together. I’m fighting for an IBF Pan Pacific title next fight, I think we’re fighting an Argentinian, and then that should give me a top 15 world ranking with the IBF.
"That’s a goal I have so I’m happy with that. The Australian title was something I always wanted to have, and after that I might as well keep going. I’ve had 13 wins, I’m undefeated, so we’ll see how far we can go."
Toussaint may have to relinquish the ANBF Australian middleweight title to chase bigger things but the payout will be worth it in the end.
Horn is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Australia's pugilists and he believes Toussaint – who fought on the undercard when "The Hornet" stung Manny Pacquiao – is on track to reach middleweight boxing's Mount Everest.
"There is heaps of talent out there in Australia and in boxing," Horn said.
"All these guys have got to do is just push it a little bit more and then they go to the next levels. I can see we’ve got plenty out there that can do that.
"Dave Toussaint, the Moloney boys, Denis Hogan, there’s heaps of different guys coming through.
"They’re all doing really well, they’re up in the rankings, they’re really close to world title shots, and it’s exciting for Australian boxing."
An offer has been tabled by Toussaint's camp to fight Anthony Mundine but the Canberran says the brash star hasn't taken the bait as he eyes a bout with Horn.
Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan says the reigning world champion has much bigger things on the horizon, adding "The Man" wouldn't even be able to go the distance with Toussaint.
"David Toussaint is one of the best up and coming fighters in the country. He is big and he is strong at middleweight," Lonergan said.
"I think he’d destroy Anthony Mundine. Mundine is trying to hang out for Jeff Horn, but with Jeff Horn we’ve got much bigger things further afield than Anthony Mundine.
"My advice would be to Mundine, go back and fight David Toussaint and see how good you are. I don’t think you’re any good and that Toussaint will clean you up."
HORN v CRAWFORD
Sunday: Jeff Horn v Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. TV: Live on Main Event from 10am.
*Caden Helmers is in Las Vegas as a guest of Duco Events.
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