The Courier-Mail

CITY BEAT

- an­thony.marx@news.com.au WITH ANTHONYNY MARX @An­tho­nyMarxCM Boxing · Employment · Martial Arts · Sports · Society · Jeff Horn · Manny Pacquiáo · Philip D. Murphy

HOR­NET’S NEST

A WAR of words has bro­ken out be­tween the father of boxer Jeff Horn and one of the fighter’s earliest spon­sors, who is now back­ing a ri­val ahead of an up­com­ing clash in the ring.

As you might re­call, we re­ported last week that IT in­dus­try head­hunter Steve

Scan­lan first started sup­port­ing Horn in 2013 when he was an un­known com­mod­ity. But he parted ways with Team Hor­net two years ago and is now fully be­hind Tim Tszyu, who fights Horn in Townsville on Au­gust 26.

Claims sur­round­ing that version of events clearly stuck in the craw of Jeff Sr (il­lus­trated). He wrote us a lengthy and un­so­licited screed over the week­end tak­ing is­sue with just about all the claims made by Scan­lan, who now heads up re­cruit­ment firm Tech­nol­ogy Peo­ple.

“We were grate­ful for Steve’s sup­port while it lasted, but it took a lot to man­age and in the end we were also happy for him to walk away,’’ he said. Ouch!

Jeff Sr also poured scorn on the idea of Scan­lan get­ting a $15,000 di­a­mond and ruby ring made for Horn to hon­our his shock win over one-time champ Manny Pac­quiao in 2017.

“It is a ring so large and ob­tru­sive that it hasn’t seen the light of day since Jeff re­ceived it and in all like­li­hood will even­tu­ally be the sub­ject of a fu­ture charity auction. It is cer­tainly not some­thing that a down to earth, grounded young man like Jeff Horn would ever ware (sic)!”

JUST BUSI­NESS

BE­YOND the busi­ness an­gle of it all, Jeff Sr said his son and Scan­lan have never been close mates. “They had a sim­ple busi­ness ar­range­ment,’’ he told us.

Scan­lan main­tains he was Jeff’s first ma­jor spon­sor but Jeff Sr de­scribed that claim as “to­tally false’’. “There were great com­pa­nies, the likes of Ausiebum (sic), Som­mer and Staff Con­struc­tions and Bar­rier Reef Pools all sup­port­ing Jeff be­fore Steve Scan­lon (sic) came on board with his com­pany,’’ he wrote.

“Jeff could never have trained full time on Steve’s spon­sor­ship alone. Steve had the po­si­tion as Jeff’s ma­jor spon­sor for a very short pe­riod of time be­fore Phil Mur­phy came on board with very sig­nif­i­cant sup­port as Jeff’s ma­jor spon­sor with

Ox­mar

Prop­er­ties.’’ In case all this wasn’t enough, Jeff Sr dis­puted Scan­lan’s claim of spend­ing more than $600,000 on the Horn spon­sor­ship.

“Win­ing and din­ing your as­so­ciates and tak­ing them to the fights is NOT pro­vid­ing spon­sor­ship to Jeff Horn!’’ he said.

“For his spon­sor­ship Steve wanted plenty in re­turn. In the end he de­cided he wasn’t get­ting enough and was happy to walk away.’’

HEAD GAMES

HORN JR de­clined to com­ment on this lit­tle flare up, which is cer­tainly not the first time that head games have had the po­ten­tial to mess with the minds of box­ers in the lead up to a fight.

But nat­u­rally we had to chase up some re­ac­tion from Scan­lan, who was at first re­luc­tant to wade in to the rather un­seemly dis­pute, which he called “ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing’’.

“My as­so­ci­a­tion with Jeff Horn has been a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship and I’m proud to have been part of such a great ca­reer,’’ Scan­lan said.

“Jeff and I re­main friends and if any­thing the re­cent pub­lic­ity around the demise of our pro­fes­sional ar­range­ment has strength­ened that friend­ship.

“Af­ter read­ing re­cent re­ports, Jeff ex­pressed his thanks for my years of spon­sor­ship and apol­o­gised over the per­cep­tion that my con­tri­bu­tion had been taken for granted. That was an im­por­tant ges­ture and my re­spect for Jeff is now as strong as ever.

“He is a won­der­ful ath­lete and I’m enor­mously proud to have been able to sup­port his box­ing jour­ney.”

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