Ready for the Pac Man: Jeff Horn's dream fight now reality
BOXING: For everything Manny Pacquiao has achieved in his unprecedented boxing career, Brisbane could provide him with something big.
Pacquiao and Jeff Horn met at a promotional media conference yesterday at Suncorp Stadium, the venue for their WBO world welterweight title fight on July 2.
This will be one of the biggest fights in Australian boxing history, so a packed house is a definite possibility.
About 55,000 fight fans will see if rising Brisbane talent Horn can beat eight-division world champion Pacquiao and a capacity crowd would eclipse the previous highest attendance the Pac Man has fought in front of.
"The biggest crowd that I had was in Texas, Cowboys Stadium," Pacquiao said before his legendary promoter Bob Arum chimed in with the exact crowd figure of 50,994.
Pacquiao and Horn attracted a big turnout to the promotional media conference ahead of what will be the biggest fight of the Brisbane school teacher's blossoming career.
"I can't believe I am standing here today in front of you with everyone here about to talk about what's coming up with this massive fight with Manny Pacquiao," Horn said.
"People say he's past it. I've been watching him for years, he's not past it, he's still a massive champion. He's world champion as well.
"He's done so much but I'm hoping to steal that off him come July 2."
This opportunity comes after Horn was the victim of bullying during his younger years and went to the gym and met his trainer Glenn Rushton.
"I got bullied at school and got into some fights," the 29-year-old said.
"Obviously, I lost them, otherwise I wouldn't have gone to the gym to learn how to protect myself.
"So I said 'that's not going to happen after school',"
"I was noticed straight away by Glenn, that I had some ability and I could go somewhere in boxing.
"I was kind of toing and froing. I don't know whether it's a sport for me.
"I was tossing up going to rugby league but I'm too small for that anyway, so I started boxing and started competing. "It was like 'I'm really going to give this a red-hot crack.
"I like to think that my fists got me here, but they're pretty small, I think it's my head that got me to where I am today. I've got to I guess, not thank those bullies, but I wouldn't be here where I am today if it wasn't for the experiences that I've had in my life."
At 38 years old and with a professional record of 59-6-2, Pacquiao knows the hunger that drives Horn, who boasts a 16-0-1 record.
"I know what my opponent is feeling right now is hunger," he said.
"I have been there in that situation when I was starting, when I was young."