Fam­ily will long re­mem­ber amaz­ing tri­umph

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - GRANTLEE KIEZA

JEFF Horn’s preg­nant wife cheered louder than any­one at Sun­corp Sta­dium yes­ter­day, his mother pumped her fists towards the heav­ens and his dad couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.

And grand­fa­ther Ray Horn’s misty hazel eyes glazed over with a mix of pride and joy as he de­clared see­ing Horn win the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion wel­ter­weight ti­tle from Manny Pac­quiao as one of the best days of his long life.

Horn’s ail­ing “Pop” is 89, and bat­tling the flu and the weight of years.

There were grave fears he would be too crook to be ring­side for yes­ter­day’s fight.

But, just like his grand­son, he fought back and fi­nally made it, slumped in a chair next to me right be­hind Horn’s blue cor­ner.

He had the hood of a Jeff Horn sou­venir track­suit pulled over his bare scalp to pro­tect it from the sav­age Bris­bane sun.

He’s al­most blind, and pretty deaf. But Ray broke into a huge grin when he heard the chal­lenger’s theme song Seven Na­tion Army pump­ing from the loud­speak­ers, know­ing that “young Jeff” would soon be star­ring in Aus­tralia’s big­gest ever fight.

March­ing to his­tory, Horn stopped briefly on his way to the ring, to touch fists with the old man whose dream was to see his grand­son win the ti­tle.

“See­ing Jeff be­come world champ is the thing that’s kept me go­ing these last few years,” Ray said.

“Noth­ing will top what he did to­day.”

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