By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--In the lead-up to what would be the biggest fight of his boxing career, many boxing pundits showed concern on Jeff Horn as it was revealed that he still had to cut a considerable amount of weight with less than a week left.
During the weigh-in on Saturday, however, Horn stunned them when he made the 147-pound limit.
And on Sunday, the Australian pug shocked the boxing world yet again.
Horn sent the Suncorp Stadium in his hometown of Brisbane--and the entire boxing community--buzzing after taking the WBO welterweight championship from Manny Pacquiao in the main event of the "Battle of Brisbane" fight card.
Horn stepped on the gas from the get-go, engaging in a brawl against Pacquiao in the opening round.
Pacquiao, however, began connecting on crisp shots in the next two rounds, even opening a cut at Horn's right eye area in Round 3.
However, things began to change in Round 6, when an accidental headbutt caused a cut to the right side of Pacquiao's hairline, and Horn began targeting the said area.
Another headbutt took place in the very next round, this time opening a cut at the other side of Pacquiao's hairline, and Horn landed a right hook at that area that rocked Pacquiao.
Pacquiao then had his best moment in Round 9, reopening Horn's cut and eventually pummeling him that Referee Mark Nelson even came to Horn's corner telling him that he wanted to call the TKO there.
Horn, however, said to Nelson that he wants to continue, and he showed resiliency in the last three rounds.
Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan gave identical 115-113 scorelines favoring Horn, while Walekska Roldan had it 117-111 for Horn, giving the Australian boxer a win in his first world title shot.
Horn remains unbeaten with 17 wins and one draw, while Pacquiao dropped to his seventh loss against 59 victories and two stalemates.
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