Boxing great gives Horn a chance of causing upset
BOXING: Australian hall of famer Ray Wheatley remembers some of boxing's great upsets.
A then young Cassius Clay knocking out Sonny Liston in the 1960s.
James 'Buster' Douglas defeating the unbeatable Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990.
He now sees no reason why Brisbane underdog Jeff Horn can't write his own page of history with a win over all-time great Manny Pacquiao on Sunday, July 2 at Suncorp Stadium.
"Boxing is made up of big upsets and this fight has all the ingredients to produce an upset," said Wheatley, a one-time Australian heavyweight contender who went on to become a renowned referee, judge and commentator.
"Naturally, Pacquiao is the favourite but it wouldn't surprise me if Horn does get the win.
"We have got one fighter who's on the improve with the world at his feet and the other guy at 38 is not going to get any better.
"It could happen.
"I think the bookmakers have got Pacquiao as 4-1 favourite to win the fight.
"But I can remember way back when a bloke called Cassius Clay was a 10-1 underdog in a heavyweight world title fight against Sonny Liston and he knocked him out and won the crown."
Wheatley, who won the NSW Golden Gloves in 1967 as a welterweight and once floored Tony Mundine, has seen close up what Horn is capable of.
"I judged a Jeff Horn fight about 18 months ago in New Zealand, so I know what he's got," he said.
"You have got a guy who is extremely hungry and who has prepared himself 100%.
"He's convinced he's going to win the fight, so with that sort of belief in yourself with a lot of ability to back it up, it's pretty hard to beat.
"He will also have the backing of a huge home crowd, so he will definitely lift.
Wheatley has witnessed some big fights in Australia during his time in boxing and rates next week's clash up there with the biggest, if not the biggest this country has staged. As of yesterday, 44,000 of the 55,000 available tickets have been sold.
"Attendance-wise, it certainly is and when you look at where Manny Pacquiao rates as an all-time great ... then it is up there," Wheatley said.
"(Fight promoter) Bob Arum once said that in his opinion Pacquaio will go down as the greatest fighter ever and you are talking about someone (in Arum) who actually promoted Muhammad Ali.
"Pacquiao is one of the greatest of all time, so to have him out here in front of what looks like will be the biggest attendance in Australia of all time, it's got to rank right up the top as one of the biggest fights in this country ever."