Schoolteacher turned world champion Jeff Horn has called it quits on one of the finest careers in the modern history of Aussie boxing by announcing his retirement at the age of 35.
Horn officially made the decision on Sunday morning, the sixth anniversary of his most famous win against boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in front of 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
The former WBO welterweight champion says that fighting no longer has a place in his heart, and he’d like to spend more family time with his wife Jo and three daughters.
Horn has also had some concerns about his brain health after recent scans, and has decided to go the safer route and hang up the gloves.
‘I could have taken $1 million for another fight, but my health is more important than wealth,’ Horn told News Corp.
Jeff Horn is hanging up the gloves on the sixth anniversary of his most famous triumph
Horn has also had some concerns about his brain health after recent scans, and would like to spend more time with his family
‘To be honest, I’ve had my concerns. I’ve had some issues with my memory. I’ve had some tests done on my brain and I was told if I kept going there was a high potential risk of things getting worse and my brain suffering more.
‘I need to protect myself because I want to be able to remember my childrens’ names and the big moments in their lives.
‘You can’t do that when you are punch-drunk.’
Taking on the bullies
Horn was bullied as a kid so much that he would sometimes cry himself to sleep at night and even developed suicidal thoughts.
The breaking point occurred when he and a friend were once surrounded by a gang of thirty and ordered to get on their knees by the ringleader.
Horn refused, and copped a punch to the face.
That was enough for the mild-mannered Horn. He took up boxing and soon nobody would mess with him again.
Now Horn is launching a campaign called Bullyproof to ensure the safety of school kids across Queensland and the former champ hopes the government gets on board to bankroll the blueprint.
Horn was bullied terribly as a kid and has now launched a campaign called Bullyproof to ensure the safety of school kids across Queensland
‘This fight now is my most important thing in life,’ said Horn.
‘With this Bullyproof campaign, I want to fight for every school kid out there.
‘I would give up my world title if it means saving a kid’s life from bullying.
‘My eldest daughter has now started school and I want to make sure my kids are safe and every kid in Queensland has the right to learn feeling safe.’
A freak injury that nearly derailed his career
In 2016, Horn suffered an injury that left him questioning his sanity as he waited for surgery to insert a titanium plate in his throat.
He was punched in the throat with a wide left hook while sparring 85kg amateur Simon Cooper and was taken to hospital.
The injury derailed the biggest fight of his career at the time, against knockout king Randall Bailey, and required the Aussie to undergo surgery at Brisbane Private Hospital.
A freak throat injury came close to ruining Jeff Horn’s career
Horn went on to defeat the hard-hitting American veteran via technical knockout after seven rounds at a sold-out Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
It was a comprehensive win for the Aussie, the 14th of his professional career, and established Horn as a genuine star on the rise in the fight game.
The Manny Pacquiao fight
In a bout billed as the ‘Battle of Brisbane’, Horn became a part of Aussie sporting folklore by winning a unanimous decision over boxing superstar Pacquiao in 2017.
Horn earned scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 from the judges and shocked the entire boxing world.
Referee Mark Nelson spoke to the unheralded Aussie in his corner, explaining he was prepared to stop the bout unless he could show something in the 10th round.
‘You’ve had enough,’ Nelson said as Horn slumped on his stool after a brutal ninth round
Horn became a part of Aussie sporting folklore by beating boxing superstar Pacquiao
Horn and his team protested and Nelson softened.
Horn convinced Nelson he could continue as he finished the 10th round before going toe to toe and trading heavy blows with the Filipino superstar in the 11th and 12th.
Losing the title to Terence Crawford
Crawford defeated Horn by technical knockout in the ninth round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to claim the the WBO welterweight title.
Crawford was a class above from start to finish, totally overwhelming Horn to hand the Australian a comprehensive defeat – his first in 20 professional fights.
Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight with 27 seconds to go in the ninth round.
Horn said he was ‘disappointed’ after the fight.
‘I’m disappointed but I’m not hurt at all. Things happen. First loss as a professional. I’ll keep going, I can rebuild.
‘He’s a tricky boxer out there… I got a bit predictable and started getting clipped too much.’
Knocking out Anthony Mundine in 96 seconds
The hotly anticipated middleweight fight between Jeff Horn and Anthony Mundine ended in stunning fashion after Mundine was knocked out less than two minutes into the clash.
Horn dominated the fight from start to finish, catching Mundine with body blows before delivering a devastating left hook that sent him sprawling to the canvas.
Horn destroyed Mundine in less than two minutes when they clashed in 2018
Fight fans vented their frustration at how brief the event was over social media, calling it a joke.
Horn said the result was a ‘perfect night’.
‘I’m very, very happy with the result… to finish it off in a minute and a half,’ he said.
‘I guess I learnt that from my last fight, I was a little bit too stationary.’
Two fights with Michael Zerafa and losing to Tim Tszyu
Horn was soundly beaten by rising star Tim Tszyu in 2020 – and hasn’t fought since
Tim Tszyu stepped out of the sizeable shadow of his father and reclaimed his belts by dominating Horn in their super welterweight title fight in August 2020.
Tszyu controlled the bout throughout, and made Horn look second rate.
Horn was brave and withstood plenty of punishment but offered little threat, and was reduced to grappling and trying to frustrate his opponent before his corner threw in the towel after eight rounds.
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