At the age of 29, Jeff is a four-year pro. The WBO welterweight world champion, he won the title in July, 2017, and has made one successful title defense.
Jeff was an amateur standout before his debut and represented Australia in the 2012 Olympic Games. Three years later as a pro, he was voted Australia’s “2015 Boxer of the Year.” He has also worked as a high school physical education teacher and in childcare.
In his last fight on December 13 in Brisbane, Australia, Jeff made his first defense of the WBO title and won by 11th-round TKO against Gary Corcoran.
The Courier-Mail’s Grantlee Kieza reported from ringside [excerpts]: With his heavily pregnant wife leading a whole country as a cheer squad, Brisbane’s world-beater Jeff Horn cut down English gypsy Gary Corcoran in 11 rounds to retain his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Horn joked that there is “always a buzz around the Hornet,” and a capacity crowd of 7000 cheered on the nicest man in Australian sport as he switched to his alter ego, a brutally destructive fighter, turning up the heat on “The Hellraiser” from the opening bell.
But Horn was given a ferocious test by the heroic Englishman.
The plan was for Horn to break down the powerful Londoner from the opening bell, get a big points lead by the mid-way point of the fight and then crush all resistance in the closing stages.
In the end Horn needed 11 rounds to get the job done before New York referee Benjy Esteves saved Corcoran from further punishment.
“Too many cuts,” Corcoran said after the fight. “I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see the shots coming.”
Corcoran needed six stitches in one cut and four in another
Horn’s wife Jo – due to give birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter, on January 1 – was resplendent in a vivid blue dress last night as Horn and Corcoran turned on a vivid blue in the ring for his fans.
Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton had worked relentlessly over the last three months on having the leg strength to cope with a high speed fight, and Horn’s strength and conditioning coach, Dundee Kim, had practised thousands of drills for Horn to catch Corcoran coming in with a big right hand counter-shot.
The preparation paid off immediately last night.
Even though Horn had lost 4kg in the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday afternoon’s weigh-in and had dropped nearly 10kg over the preceding few weeks, his strength was palpable as his body shots reverberated around the Convention Centre’s Great Hall.
But every ounce of his heart was needed as Corcoran gave him spirited resistance all the way.
The man who proved anything in life is possible, had never had a proper boxing fight at the time of the 2008 Olympics, but four years later made the quarter-finals in 2012 after taking up boxing to fend off bullies.
That success was just the start, and in the greatest day ever in Australian boxing, he roared back from the jaws of defeat to outpoint Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title before more than 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium on July 2. [End Kieza item]
Many observers thought that Jeff’s 12-round unanimous decision win against Pacquiao – the legendary eight-division world champion and former “Fighter of the Decade” – was very controversial.
Pacquiao’s camp protested the scoring of the fight with the WBO, and the organization conducted a review that had five independent judges score the fight from video with no sound, so that there would be no influence from the commentators or the sound of the crowd in attendance.
All five of the independent judges agreed that the fight was very close. One had Jeff the winner at 115-113, and two had him winning by an even closer score of 114-113. One had a 114-114 draw, and one had Pacquiao winning by a score of 114-113. The official judges at ringside unanimously scored the fight for Jeff with scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111.
After the review, the WBO issued the following statement: “The Jeff Horn vs. Manny Pacquiao bout results were controversial causing disputes among fans. For this reason, transparency is so important. The WBO does not have power to reverse the Judges’ decision based on discretion as it can only be revoked when fraud or a violation of Law has occurred, which is not relevant in this case.
“Based on this, five (5) anonymous, competent Judges from different countries were asked to watch the bout without sound. Then, the independent results were tabulated to ascertain clearly the rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 per cent.
“To determine the winner of each round, 3 out of the 5 officials have to be in agreement.
“Upon the analysis, the findings stated that Pacquiao won the 3rd, the 8th and 9th by 100%; the 5th round was won by 80%; and the 11th round by 60%. Horn won the 1st, 6th and 12th rounds by 100%; rounds 2nd, 4th, and 7th by 80%; and then, the 10th round by 60%. From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won 5 rounds while Horn won 7 rounds.
“The next step of the analysis was to combine the independent Judges with the Bout Judges to find the percentage agreement by round. Upon doing this analysis, the findings of the Judges stated that Pacquiao won the 3rd and 9th by 100%; the 8th round was won by 87.5%; no rounds were won by 75%; the 5th round by 62.5%; and the 10th and 11th were even rounds.
“On the other hand, the Judges findings stated that Horn won the 1st, 6th, and 12th rounds by 100%; by 87.5%, he won the 4th and the 7th; the 2nd was won by 75%; none were won by 62.5%; and the even rounds were the 10th and the 11th.
“Based on this analysis, Jeff Horn was the winner of the bout.” [End WBO statement]
“The Hornet,” a book on Jeff’s life by Grantlee Kieza, was recently published in Australia by ABC Books.
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Jeff was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and has one brother and two sisters: “Dad is a builder, and mum is a Family Assistance Manager for SVDP. My brother Ben is an amateur boxer and plans to turn pro.
“My start in boxing progressed from self-defense training after my coach identified my boxing potential. I was 20 years old when I had my first amateur fight.
“I had 66 amateur fights with a record of 48 wins and 18 losses. I always fought at the elite level from my second fight.”…
From Boxingscene.com [Jan. 1, 2018 – excerpts]: Jeff Horn and his wife Jo have welcomed their first child, capping off a fairytale 2017 for the couple.
Isabelle Kate Horn was born at 7:40pm on Saturday, weighing in at 3.58kg or 7.15 pounds, and both mum and daughter are doing well.
The couple said the arrival topped off a wonderful year, including Horn capturing the World Boxing Organization welterweight title by winning a twelve round unanimous decision, in a huge upset, over eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao in July at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia – with 51,000 fans in attendance.
“Winning a world title was a tremendous achievement but Isabelle’s arrival is the greatest gift of all and has officially confirmed 2017 as the best year of our lives,” the couple said in a statement.
Isabelle’s arrival comes less than three weeks after Horn defended his crown against English fighter Gary Corcoran, with Jo, then 38-weeks pregnant, watching the bout ringside.
There were concerns the excitement of the bout might have been enough to bring on the labour, prompting the couple to have an obstetrician on site, and an ambulance on stand-by in case the baby came early.
Horn came through with an eleven round stoppage victory. [End Boxingscene.com item]
From wikipedia.com [excerpts]: Horn’s father, Jeff Horn Sr., is a builder. His mother, Liza Dykstra, works for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. His grandfather, Ray Horn, fought in exhibition boxing matches in the Queensland outback during the 1930s. Graham Quirk, the incumbent Lord Mayor of Brisbane, is his second cousin.
Horn holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Griffith University and formerly worked as a physical education teacher for Pallara State School in Brisbane.
He met his wife Joanna in Year 8 at MacGregor State High School. They started dating during the schoolies week of Year 12 and got married in September 2014. She is pregnant with their first child.
In his youth, Horn had been a victim of bullying and cited this as the reason he started boxing, initially as a means to defend himself. [End wikipedia.com item]
Jeff told the Sydney Morning Herald that he started boxing at the age of 18 after being picked on by bullies: “It was only later on in high school we started getting picked on a little bit. Well, I did. After all that, me and my mates would muck around with boxing gloves, just have one each. I’d always do all right, but there was only a few of us.
“One of them decided to take me to a boxing gym, fairly randomly, and that was my first taste. My only other fight I’d even seen before that was a Danny Green–Anthony Mundine fight.”…
From the Sydney Morning Herald, by Phil Lutton [April 21, 2016 – excerpts]: Jeff Horn seems an unlikely type to be the great hope of Australian boxing. A former Brisbane PE teacher, that happens to be the cousin of the city’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, he treads softly out of the ring, predicting only that he feels destined for far bigger things than shadow-boxing for cameras in the Queen St Mall.
The London Olympian looks like he could pass for a fresh-faced 21. Throughout an amateur career that didn’t start until he left school, Horn has remained largely free of the tell-tale scars that mark more seasoned pugs.
That is until you look at his neck. Across it is the inch-long scar from an operation where he had a titanium plate inserted after his larynx was caved in during a sparring session back in February.
It would serve to postpone his bout against American veteran Randall Bailey [note: scheduled for Apr. 27, 2016]….
Horn was already working on his defensive chops in the ring already but will take added caution to guard his neck area….
“I’m going to keep my chin down, my shoulders up and I’m not going to get hit there,” Horn said. “I can’t just go in willy-nilly and throw punches without covering myself.
Horn has already earned the respect of many in the fight game, with a number of industry veterans openly suggesting he is the best prospect to arise from our shores since Jeff Fenech.
Plus, he’s got the nickname – ‘The Hornet’ – to be able to shift a few shirts. Yet his relatively subdued profile is symptomatic of a sport that remains desperate for a new local star to arise as those that have carried it before, like Anthony Mundine and an ageing Daniel Geale, shuffle off the scene.
Horn doesn’t crave an inflated media profile yet knows how important his career could potentially be for the sweet science domestically, especially in the context of an era when UFC can sell out arenas and stadiums in a heartbeat.
“I got awarded the Australian Boxer of the Year last year  and that was huge for me to be recognized. There is a lot of pressure there … and then to be trying to get that world title,” Horn said. [End Luton item]
From the Australian, by Trent Dalton [Jan. 28, 2017 – excerpts]: He’s built a life for himself and his wife, Jo, out of relief-teacher wages supplemented by professional fight purses that, not so long ago, were as low as $2000. “You’d get paid very little for a professional fight,” he says. “Sometimes you’re getting a couple of thousand, maybe, max, for a fight that takes you weeks and weeks to prepare for.”
Horn made the 2012 Olympic boxing quarter finals while juggling study for his education degree.
“Everyone from my high school right now must be thinking, ‘How is he a fighter?’ ” Jeff says, sitting in his lounge room beneath a collection of wall-mounted photographs of the day he married his high-school sweetheart, who sits on his left. Jo has been watching the Golden Globes on telly. Their dog, Lexie, rests at his feet.
Mr. Horn’s idea of a thrilling Saturday night is a game of Monopoly where Mayfair is still up for grabs. He likes role-playing games. He likes a board game called Settlers of Catan where players establish a colony on a fictional island. They progress through the game by spending resources of brick, lumber, wool, grain and ore.
Jeff’s dad, also named Jeff, is a builder. Neither he nor [Jeff’s mother] Liza wanted their son to box.
“He’s a pure gentleman,” Liza says. “He’s quiet. You have to drag things out of him. He’s never been a problem to me. Never, ever, ever in his life. Just a beautiful, beautiful nature. I tried very hard to talk him out of boxing. I used to speak to him with the voice boxers get after they’ve had too many fights. I’d put on a voice and he’d tell me to be quiet. I really did try everything to get him to stop. But he sat down with me one day and he said, ‘You know, Mum, it doesn’t matter what you say, I am going to do it.’ I knew then that I’d support him all the way because he wasn’t going to stop.” [End Dalton item]