Hum­ble hero hits fame and riches

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - GRANTLEE KIEZA

JEFF Horn, Bris­bane’s hum­ble hero, is on track to be­come the big­gest earn­ing sports­man in Aus­tralia and prove that nice guys can fin­ish first.

The Fight­ing School­teacher says he is still gob­s­macked by a whole new world in which he doesn’t even have time to re­spond to a text mes­sage from Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull.

The World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion welterweight cham­pion is poised to reap a for­tune af­ter con­quer­ing Manny Pac­quiao at Sun­corp Sta­dium on Sun­day on one of the great­est days ever in Aus­tralian sport. He will be given a ticker- tape pa­rade through Bris­bane’s CBD on Thurs­day.

Celebrity agent Max Markson, who has rep­re­sented the likes of Nel­son Man­dela, for­mer Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair and US Pres­i­dents Bill Clin­ton and Ge­orge Bush Snr, says Horn’s purses could sur­pass the multi- mil­lion dol­lar earn­ings of bas­ket­baller An­drew Bogut and golfers Adam Scott and Ja­son Day.

“Most of the money in box­ing JEFF Horn could soon find him­self rub­bing shoul­ders with the same ESPN per­son­al­i­ties who slammed the de­ci­sion to crown him the vic­tor in Sun­day’s Bat­tle of Bris­bane.

Top Rank supremo Bob Arum has sug­gested Aus­tralia’s new WBO welterweight cham­pion should be for­mally in­tro­duced to the US box­ing scene at the ESPY Awards, the sports net­work’s glitzy an­nual pre­sen­ta­tions, in Los An­ge­les on July 12. It comes af­ter a hys­ter­i­cal over­seas re­ac­tion to Horn’s unan­i­mous points vic­tory over the leg­endary Manny Pac­quiao. comes from purses,’’ Markson said. “Jeff might earn $ 100,000 to $ 250,000 in an en­dorse­ment con­tract, $ 10,000 or so for ap­pear­ances but the re­ally big money is in the fights.

“If he keeps win­ning he’s look­ing at many mil­lions for ev­ery fight.’’

Wak­ing up next to his preg­nant wife Jo yes­ter­day Horn mo­men­tar­ily won­dered if the vic­tory be­fore 51,025

ESPN pre­sen­ter Stephen A. Smith was among the more vo­ra­cious crit­ics of the re­sult while vet­eran an­a­lyst Teddy At­las sug­gested Horn was handed the vic­tory as a re­ward for merely “try­ing hard”.

“It’s fair to say if it all works out that we do go up there, we’d have a chat to Stephen A. Smith,” Horn’s pro­moter Dean Lon­er­gan said.

“He’s one of Amer­ica’s great com­men­ta­tors.

“We’d have to talk to Jeff about that and see if he wanted to go. I’m sure he would.” peo­ple and a global tele­vi­sion au­di­ence of more than 500 mil­lion might have been a dream but then he saw the cham­pi­onship belt on the din­ing room ta­ble and knew their lives would never be the same.

He has been promised $ 2 mil­lion for a re­match with Pac­quiao that could take place at Sun­corp Sta­dium in Novem­ber, al­though Lord Mayor Gra­ham Quirk, Horn’s sec­ond cousin, agreed that the sum­mer heat and the prospect of rain had to be con­sid­ered.

Horn said it was “amaz­ing’’ to con­tem­plate how “life chang­ing’’ the win was and how much he would earn for his next bout.

He and trainer Glenn Rush­ton, who first taught him how to punch when Horn was a bul­lied school­boy 11 years ago, are now chas­ing a bout with un­beaten Amer­i­can Floyd May­weather, the great­est money- maker in box­ing his­tory, with the chance it, too, could be held at Sun­corp.

May­weather earned close to $ 200 mil­lion beat­ing Pac­quiao in 2015. Pac­quiao earned $ 165 mil­lion for that fight, though he picked up much less – $ 10 mil­lion – on Sun­day. The beaten fighter flew home to the Philip­pines from the Gold Coast yes­ter­day.

Horn said one of the first things he and Jo would do was re­place her 2005 Toy­ota Camry. They still have a mort­gage on their mod­est Aca­cia Ridge home but that will be get­ting knocked out pretty soon.

DREAM IS REAL: Jeff Horn and his wife Jo with the world ti­tle belt in front of their Aca­cia Ridge home yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: ADAM HEAD

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