#InquirerSeven: Things to know about Jeff Horn
Australian pugilist Jeff Horn does not have the same notoriety as Manny Pacquiao’s previous opponents.
Horn, whose “The Hornet” nickname gives him some semblance of flare, actually isn’t a typical run of the mill boxer.
Beneath his enigmatic identity is a man who battled demons en route to becoming a professor of the beautiful sport.
Despite owning WBO and IBF’s secondary titles, Horn is still considered an unknown in comparison to the icons Pacquaio has faced.
So to shine a little bit more of the spotlight on Horn, here are seven tidbits about the Aussie.
1. Horn is Brisbane’s own son
Pacquiao is usually given the de facto home court advantage, be it in Las Vegas or Dallas. This time, however, the Pacman will walk inside Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium facing a hometown hero.
Horn was born in Brisbane on Feb. 4, 1988 and has resided in his birthplace ever since.
Come Battle of Brisbane, it’s safe to say that there will be more than 50,000 people in support of their boxing son.
2. He is an Olympian
Horn’s pathway to professional boxing was his short, but memorable, run in the 2012 London Olympics.
The Aussie had three fights in the London Games, taking dominating wins against Gilbert Choombe of Zambia, 19-5, and Abderazzak Houya of Tunisia, 17-11.
Horn, however, fell to Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk, 21-13, in the quarterfinals.
3. He’s a teacher
Horn has built an impressive boxing resume going undefeated, 16-0-1, and strapping himself with the WBO and IBF Inter-Continental welterweight titles.
He’s also the no.2 welterweight under WBO and on July 2 has a chance to become the World champion as he battles Pacquiao (59-6-2).
Outside of his expanding boxing career, though, Horn rolls up his sleeves and tightens his tie for his job as a high school teacher.
Horn holds a Bachelor of Education degree to teach secondary school from Griffith University and he’s also worked at a child care center.
4. A victim of bullying
Growing up, Horn wasn’t the fighter Australians now adore.
He was the one wearing the glasses and playing board games and with such silence, Horn became a target of bullying.
According to a story from The Australian, Horn was the victim of a lopsided beating when 30 bullies ganged up on him after school.
Horn stood up against a bully, and what he got was a physical beatdown that changed his life.
This harrowing experience led Horn to take up boxing and he’s then used that bullying episode every time he steps inside the squared circle.
5. He got called ‘gay’ growing up
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Horn was called “gay” constantly during his growing up years.
The verbal abuse held so much magnitude that the young Horn almost thought of suicide.
“I got called ‘gay’ a lot. Words like that shouldn’t hurt me, but I was a kid. It cuts deep, especially when it’s every day. You don’t know how to stop it,” Horn told Sydney Morning Herald.
“Day by day, it takes a bit of you. I know the lows you can feel. I’ve had those feelings, like suicidal thoughts. I can remember some days that I felt that because of the bullying.”
6. Like Pacquiao, Horn also has a canine companion
Both fighters are family men, and both also have lovable dogs.
Quite some time ago, Pacquiao’s pooch Pacman reached headlines when it dogged the Filipino icon during his runs.
Horn, too, has a dog and it’s name is Lexie who, according to The Australian, likes to hang by Horn’s legs whenever the Aussie fighter watches television.
7. Horn’s vice is poker
Juggling life as a schoolteacher and as a professional boxer can take a toll, and Horn does that looking for flushes, full houses, and pairs.
As per Ring Magazine, Horn’s concept of a vice is playing poker. And that’s only his vice.
Horn hasn’t forgotten his nerdy side as he regularly, according to The Australian, plays Monopoly every Saturday.
He also likes to play a role-playing board game called Settlers of Catan.
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