Jeff Horn pockets $1m for win, new focus on fatherhood
JEFF Horn says the prospect of impending fatherhood is more terrifying than slugging it out with Gary Corcoran, the English fighter he beat on Wednesday night to retain his world welterweight title.
He sensed his little unborn daughter was cheering for him as he turned up the heat on the "Hellraiser'' to score an 11th-round stoppage at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Horn's heavily pregnant wife Jo said she could feel the baby dancing during the torrid contest, which earned her husband $1 million for the win.
The "Fighting Schoolteacher'' was yesterday celebrating at South Bank Parklands with his wife Jo, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Major Events Minister Kate Jones, before heading off to have 11 stitches inserted in three cuts he sustained during the fight.
Corcoran proved a tough and dangerous opponent until his corner called it quits in Round 11 with the Englishman badly cut and unable to see Horn's punches.
Ms Palaszczuk, whose government helped bankroll the fight and Horn's world title win over Manny Pacquiao in July, said she supported Horn "150 per cent'' and hoped to stage a rematch with Pacquiao in 2018 at Suncorp Stadium.
"Congratulations of course on behalf of 4.8 million Queenslanders to Jeff Horn,'' she said.
"I'm incredibly proud that Jeff has done so well again. He is an inspiration to so many Queenslanders.
"I know that he and Jo are looking forward to the birth of their new baby in less than three weeks and last night all of Queensland was behind Jeff.
"It was an amazing experience. It showed clearly that Queensland is now on the world map when it comes to staging world-class boxing matches. Every Queenslander on Boxing Day this year will be thinking about Jeff Horn.''
Horn said he was "very pleased'' that the fight was "all over'', but said he was "a bit rusty'' and his timing was off after he had curtailed sparring two weeks early after receiving a deep vertical cut over his left eye in training.
"But we got the job done and I can now look forward to a happy and merry Christmas and new year and look forward to our daughter being born,'' he said.
"It's an exciting time and I can't wait until next year and the exciting challenges ahead.''
He said fatherhood was scarier than a world title fight.
"I'm well experienced when it comes to fighting now but fatherhood is a whole new experience for me. I just want what any father wants and that's a healthy baby.''
While Horn's Las Vegas promoter Bob Arum wants him to next face undefeated American Terence Crawford, Horn and trainer Glenn Rushton are still entertaining the possibility of a rematch with 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium, where Horn won the world title in July.
Ms Palaszczuk welcomed the opportunity to back the rematch after the first Pacquiao fight proved a multimillion-dollar windfall for Queensland hotels and restaurants.
"Let me say very clearly I'm not letting any rematch go to any other state,'' she said.
"My government backed Jeff and of course we would always be willing to sit down and discuss future options.''
Of Horn's support for her election campaign she said: "Jeff was in my corner and last night I was in his corner. It was a win-win outcome.''