2 Jul 2017

Horn stuns Pacquiao in Brisbane

5:34 pm on 2 July 2017

Australian Jeff Horn has won a bloody and brutal 'Battle of Brisbane', scoring a unanimous decision victory over the legendary Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Australian Jeff Horn (L) connects with Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao's (R) head in the "Battle of Brisbane".

Australian Jeff Horn (L) connects with Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao's (R) head. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In front of a packed hometown crowd at Suncorp Stadium, Horn punched his ticket to boxing's big time with an incredible performance to claim Pacquiao's WBO welterweight championship.

The three judges scored the closely-fought bout 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 in Horn's favour.

Horn immediately called out Floyd Mayweather Jr. after the fight and declared himself "no joke" to the legions of boxing experts across the world who gave him no chance and mocked his credentials.

However, a rematch with Pacquiao later in the year - most likely at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne - looks a near-certainty after one of the biggest boxing upsets in recent memory.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach tipped on the morning of the fight that Horn wouldn't last three rounds and bookmakers roundly shunned the 29-year-old former schoolteacher and 2012 London Olympian, who first took up boxing after he was bullied as a teenager.

But intent on silencing his doubters and making a name for himself in front of a television audience in the tens of millions, Horn went the full 12-round distance with one of the greatest boxers of the era and came out on top.

Confounding predictions he would be chewed up and spat out by the 11-time, eight-division world champion, Horn came out firing and gave his opponent plenty of cause for concern from the very first round.

Both fighters had their moments and traded turns as the aggressor and while Pacquiao may have landed more hits, Horn never stopped coming.

Pacquiao saved his best round for the ninth, launching an all-out assault on Horn that prompted referee Mark Nelson to tell his corner he needed to "show something" in the next round or he would end the fight.

Horn responded by taking the next round, before seeing it out to extend his unbeaten record to 17-0-1 (11 knockouts).

The defeat is Pacquiao's first since losing to Mayweather in their 2015 mega clash in Las Vegas, taking his career record to 59-7-2 (38 knockouts).