Relatively unknown outside of Australia, Jeff Horn would lure the legendary Manny Pacquiao to the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Horn would shock the world, as he dethroned Pacquiao as WBO welterweight champion five years ago today.
In November 2016, Pacquiao made his sensational return to the ring as he defeated WBO welterweight champion, Jessie Vargas to win his 11th world title. Horn was declared the mandatory challenger for Pacquiao's belt, following his victory over Ali Funeka in December 2016. The bout was agreed to take place in Brisbane, Australia at the Suncorp Stadium and would be billed as the 'Battle Of Brisbane.'
Fight night rolled around, and Horn would shock Pacquiao as he would start aggressively, but Pacquiao would adapt to Horn's style over the next rounds. Pacquiao began landing cleaner shots and a left hand would cause Horn problems. Horn continued to come forward to earn Pacquiao's respect, but this led to an accidental headbutt that opened a deep cut on Pacquiao's head.
The ninth round saw Pacquiao pour it on Horn, rolling back the years and landing various combinations. The pressure was proving too much for Horn as he was rocked and saved by the bell. The ref approached Horn's corner telling him he was going to stop the fight, but Horn pleaded for him not to, leading to the ref telling him that he has to show him something in the next round.
Pacquiao had evidently emptied the tank in round nine, as Horn would come back and show that he was still in the bout, and looked to win the final few rounds. The fight went the full 12 rounds, with many believing that Pacquiao had retained the belt. The scorecards read 115-113×2 and 117-111 in favour of Horn which shocked the vast majority of the boxing world, but Australia had a new world champion and it would go down in the history books that he had defeated one of the best to ever grace the ring.
Exactly five years on, another Australian has lured a world champion down under, as IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis travels to the Gold Coast to face his mandatory challenger Jai Opetaia. IntuBoxing got to speak to Horn during the fight week events for Briedis Vs Opetaia, as he discusses that famous night in Brisbane and gives his prediction on the fight between Briedis and Opetaia.
Mairis Briedis Vs Jai Opetaia takes place today and can be watched live in the UK on Fite TV for £10.99, with the broadcast starting at 10 am.