Family will long remember amazing triumph
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.”