Jeff Horn: I’m proud of Manny Pacquiao, and also proud of myself because I beat him

Published August 19, 2020, 9:32 PM

by Jonas Terrado

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Jeff Horn about to land a jab at Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight clash. (AFP Photo / Patrick HAMILTON, File)

Jeff Horn described Manny Pacquiao as nothing but ordinary when he reflected on his upset win over the Filipino icon three years ago during a recent interview.

“Meeting him in the flesh and seeing him, that he is just normal,” Horn told fellow Aussie Peter Maniatis, who hosts the KO Boxing Show.

“Just looking at him there was nothing special about him as you do with anyone else. It’s like — I can beat this guy,” added Horn. “If I move the way I move and be unpredictable and I know that’s how Pacquiao fights as well. I am bigger than this guy and I can use that against him — I can win this fight. I just had full trust in my ability at that stage.”

The widely-disputed unanimous decision win over Pacquiao in his hometown of Brisbane in July 2017 gave Horn the WBO welterweight title which he held for over a year before losing it to unbeaten American Terrence Crawford.

Looking back, Horn was very adamant that he already had Pacquiao figured out even before they traded blows.

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Manny Pacquiao, right, launches a counterattack in the ninth round, landing some heavy blows at Jeff Horn before the Australian ex-schoolteacher’s surprise win in their WBO welterweight clash. (AFP Photo / Patrick HAMILTON, File)

“Manny seemed very blasé (when he was at press conferences) in Australia),” Horn told Maniatis “I thought very highly of Pacquiao in boxing for a long time. He was one of my idols.

“Pacquiao was extraordinary to watch. His demeanor around the sport. He seemed like a really nice guy but he could fight like a little monster. I wanted to be like that. To fight him and try and beat him — that was gold.

“I was a bit frustrated (at press conferences with) the way Manny was on his phone and out of it and not interested. It gave me the feeling he was that confident he didn’t really care. He really didn’t know who he was fighting.

“’They have picked a guy from Australia for me, I will knock him over very quickly.’ That’s a good $10 million in his pocket and see you later. And I thought to myself ‘I am going to make this extremely difficult for you’. I wasn’t going down without a fight.”

Horn also said he “didn’t get any congratulations from Manny after the 2017 fight — I might have got a pat on the back. He was saying to me ‘break’ at the start of the fight. I automatically went back the first time. I thought he doesn’t like me doing that so maybe I should keep clinching because I don’t have to listen to him. I only have to listen to the referee.”

There were talks of Pacquiao exercising a rematch clause sometime late in 2017 and 2018. Pacquiao eventually said in Jan. 2019 that he has no interest in fighting Horn again.

“I would have been keen on a rematch. I would have to get the offer to consider it. There was never an offer for a rematch with Manny in the Philippines or anywhere,” said Horn.

“I was worried that after I beat Manny that (people would say) he has had it and that Manny was done – you got him at the right time. But he has won the world title and beat some decent guys (Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman). 

“I am very happy and proud of Manny and proud of myself because I did beat Pacquiao,” said Horn, who is set to face New Zealand’s Tim Tszyu for the IBF Australasian and WBO Global light-middleweight titles on Aug. 26 in Townsville, Australia.