Sport The schoolteacher fighting Manny Pacquiao

07:56  18 june  2017
07:56  18 june  2017 Source:   BBC News

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A relatively unknown physical education (PE) teacher from Australia is weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao for boxing's world welterweight title. If 29-year-old Jeff Horn - the " fighting schoolteacher " as promoters have dubbed him - can match the reigning champion

A relatively unknown physical education (PE) teacher from Australia finds himself weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao for boxing's world welterweight title. If 29-year-old Jeff Horn - the " fighting schoolteacher " as promoters have dubbed him - can match the reigning champion

Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn face off during a press conference at Suncorp Stadium on July 2nd on April 26, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.: Pacquiao has lost three of his last eight fights but is said to be keen for a knockout© Getty Images Pacquiao has lost three of his last eight fights but is said to be keen for a knockout Jeff Horn poses during a portrait session at the 2012 Australian Olympic Games Boxing Team Announcement at the AIS on April 2, 2012, in Canberra, Australia. Horn's last defeat was on points against Ukraine's Denis Berinchyk at the London Olympics 1

In the classroom, he's known as Mr. Horn. But in the ring, call him "The Hornet".

A relatively unknown physical education (PE) teacher from Australia is weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao for boxing's world welterweight title.

If 29-year-old Jeff Horn - the "fighting schoolteacher" as promoters have dubbed him - can match the reigning champion, his life could change forever.

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A relatively unknown physical education (PE) teacher from Australia finds himself weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao for boxing's world welterweight title. If 29-year-old Jeff Horn - the " fighting schoolteacher " as promoters have dubbed him - can match the reigning champion

Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn: Fighting Schoolteacher disappointed with George Kambosos. Jeff Horn vs Manny Pacquiao fight on April 23, 2017 Jeff 'The Hornet' Horn vs Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao Knock Out Highlights I created this video with the YouT

Who is Jeff Horn?

Eleven years ago, Horn was a self-described nerd from Brisbane who walked into a boxing club to learn self-defence.

He read books, played board games in the library at lunchtime, and was often the victim of bullying.

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Jeff Horn. He said that his biggest weapon against Manny Pacquiao will be the element of surprise & he had planned well to smash the world champion.. Jessie is a better fighter than him. I have seen Horn fight and he has nothing special.

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The only fighter in the family was his grandfather, Ray Horn, who put on exhibition matches in outback Queensland in the 1930s.

His dad, Jeff Horn Sr, is a builder. His mom, Liza Sykstra, works for the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Australian boxer Jeff Horn looks on during a press conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 26 April 2017. World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world champion Pacquiao will fight world number two ranked Jeff Horn in Brisbane on 02 July.: Jeff Horn is scheduled to fight Manny Pacquiao on 2 July© EPA Jeff Horn is scheduled to fight Manny Pacquiao on 2 July

"I got into a few fights at high school," Horn told the BBC. "I didn't win the majority of those fights either."

EPA Australian boxer Jeff Horn looks on during a press conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 26 April 2017. World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world champion Pacquiao will fight world number two ranked Jeff Horn in Brisbane on 02 July. Jeff Horn is scheduled to fight Manny Pacquiao on 2 July 1

But his trainer, Glenn Rushton, told Horn he could become an Australian champion and set about teaching him an unpredictable boxing style - "broken rhythm pressure fighting".

In 2012, Horn made the Olympic boxing quarterfinals while studying for his education degree. He then turned professional.

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the Filipino world champ’s vast experience he has never fought anyone with the unique, awkward style of Brisbane’s Fighting Schoolteacher . Horn takes on Pacquiao in Australia’s biggest-ever fight at Suncorp Stadium on July 2. “ Manny has never fought anyone like Jeff,’’ Rushton said.

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Working as a substitute teacher, Horns won prize purses sometimes as low as A$2,000 (£1,100, $1,500). Until recently, he taught students at Pallara State School in Brisbane.

But now his full-time job is being the second-best welterweight boxer in the world - behind only Pacquiao.

"I'm a month out from the biggest fight of my life," Horn said, earlier in June.

"I've been getting messages from past students wishing me luck."

How big is the fight?

It has taken months of negotiations to bring about what's been hyped as the "Battle of Brisbane", scheduled for 2 July. An earlier proposed fight between Pacquiao and Britain's Amir Khan fell through.

The event has, at least temporarily, rekindled Australia's interest in boxing.

More than 50,000 people are expected to fill Queensland's Suncorp Stadium, with tickets selling for hundreds of dollars per seat. It will be televised in more than 150 countries, according to Horn's sports manager Jim Banaghan.

Getty Images Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn face off during a press conference at Suncorp Stadium on July 2nd on April 26, 2017, in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao has lost three of his last eight fights but is said to be keen for a knockout 1

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“I think some people have the sense that Manny Pacquiao sold out for the money. And by fighting with a torn rotator cuff, not giving himself the best chance to win, he somehow perpetuated a fraud on the public.

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The boxer's wife and parents have even been pulled into some of the media attention.

"They're happy for me but they're nervous as well. They don't want to see me get hurt," Horn said.

After Pacquiao's fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2015 became the most lucrative in history, the Australian bout may be regarded as something of a sideshow. Pacquiao may meet Mayweather for an anticipated rematch.

Jeff Horn poses poses during a portrait session at the 2012 Australian Olympic Games Boxing Team Announcement at the AIS on April 2, 2012 in Canberra, Australia.: Horn's last defeat was on points against Ukraine's Denis Berinchyk at the London Olympics© Getty Images Horn's last defeat was on points against Ukraine's Denis Berinchyk at the London Olympics Pacquiao, 38, is also a serving senator in his native Philippines. During a series of promotional news conferences in Australia in April, Pacquiao appeared more interested in his phone than his opponent.

Manny Pacquiao trains at the Elorde boxing Gym: Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win world titles in eight weight divisions© Getty Images Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win world titles in eight weight divisions It was a scene to disappoint fans of boxing trash-talk: two clean-cut fighters speaking politely and respectfully about one another.

Getty Images Manny Pacquiao trains at the Elorde Boxing Gym Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win world titles in eight weight divisions 1

"I know what my opponent is feeling right now is hunger," Pacquiao said.

"I've been there. I've been there in that situation. When I was starting, when I was young, even at night before I went to sleep, I was thinking about the fight."

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Does Horn stand a chance?

Whatever the result, the fight will change Horn's life. Overnight he will become a millionaire. A victory could go down as one of most important in Australian sporting history.

Legendary promoter Bob Arum, who notably worked with Muhammad Ali, said the huge hometown crowd could hand Horn the advantage to stage a monumental upset.

"If his fight with Pacquiao was in Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York, I wouldn't give him much of a chance because I think nerves would take over," he told the Courier-Mail newspaper.

"But the fact that Jeff is going to be fighting in front of so many of his countrymen will calm his nerves and I think he will give a great account of himself."

Australian fighter Anthony Mundine, himself a three-time world champion, said an upset was possible but warns that 38-year-old Pacquiao is still a force to be reckoned with.

"Even though he is at his end and past his prime, I believe he is still a dangerous fighter," he told the Australian Associated Press. "But anything can happen in boxing."

Horn has been training six days a week before the match, visualising the ring surrounded by thousands of screaming fans and sidestepping inside it with Pacquiao.

Superficially, it's hard to imagine two more different fighters. Pacquiao spent his childhood living in poverty in the Philippines and entered politics. Horn grew up in relative prosperity in Australia and became a teacher. Do they have anything in common?

"We're both nice guys by the sound of it - except in the ring," Horn said.

"We're going to be throwing leather trying to finish each other off."

Manny Pacquiao arrives in Brisbane to defend WBO title against Jeff Horn .
One of greatest boxers of all time, Manny Pacquiao, has arrived in Brisbane to defend his WBO Welterweight title against Brisbane challenger Jeff Horn. One of greatest boxers of all time, Manny Pacquiao, has arrived in Brisbane to defend his WBO Welterweight title against The welterweight fighter touched down about 8:30pm on Saturday night in a privately chartered jet with his coach, family and 160 supporters from his home town.The 11-time world champion said he is in top shape for next Sunday's showdown at Lang Park.

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