Horn vs Pacquiao
Tape up the gloves and find a veal carcass to airmail a few bombs at, the Australian fight of the century produced everything we've come to expect from the fight game.
Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao vs Jeff "Full" Horn.
Just when I thought the theme of mismatches had run their course in Australian boxing, they serendipitously decide to park their sweet backside on us once more.
Let's set the scene, sports nuts. Remember back in 2014 when Samoan born Australian Alex Leapai challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight title? Neither does anyone else. And Alex might not either after the seismic pasting he copped. Plucked fresh from row 17 of an NRL match at Suncorp, the son of a South Logan welder squared off against the son of an esteemed Soviet war general in 5 rounds of utter carnage. The brave Queenslander landed just 14 slaps in 15 minutes and copped about 6000 haymakers in return. Mercifully, the fight was stopped.
It still sits in the back of my mind as we watched the noisy Phillipino storm, Manny Pacquiao make his mark on the sacred turf of Suncorp Stadium this weekend. PacMan has knocked off the who's who of boxing royalty. Morales, Moseley, Barrera, Hatton and De La Hoya have all felt the force of a Manila flurry. PacMan has boxed himself out of poverty and into the hall of fame with electric hand speed and blistering combinations. By comparison, the Brisbane school teacher has notched up a respectable 16 wins against nobody in particular, which made this peculiar match a perfect first stop on PacMan's superannuation top up tour. Horn's last few fights included a stoppage against a German IT consultant and a win over an American pensioner, who happens to be a popular local bartender in Florida. This Everest sized step up in class could've spelled the same trouble as it did for Leapai 3 years ago. A part of me was worried sick, but another part of me was just as intrigued in how this inevitable car crash would play out.
A hall of fame knockout artist who's put some of the sweet science's most ruthless operators to sleep, versus an anonymous school teacher that no one really knew existed before a few months ago. Only in Australia.
Horn infamously snatched a decision win. The decisive moment came just before the fight with the heaviest unmarked briefcase being deposited at the judges feet.