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Jeff Horn wins the Battle of Brisbane via unanimous decision

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Australia's Jeff Horn celebrates defeating Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in during their WBO World Welterweight title fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, July 2, 2017. © AAP Image/Dan Peled Australia's Jeff Horn celebrates defeating Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in during their WBO World Welterweight title fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, July 2, 2017.

Jeff Horn has shocked the boxing world in front of more than 50,000 of his home town fans, beating Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao in their WBO world welterweight title fight.

The 29-year-old Horn was a massive underdog heading into the fight, having never stepped into the ring with anyone with anywhere near the ability and experience of Pacquiao.

But, spurred on by his home fans, Horn scored a unanimous decision in a high-intensity, close fight: 117-111, 115-113, 115-113.

Both fighters were cut during the bout to accidental head clashes. Horn showed early that he wasn’t intimidated, using his size advantage and being prepared to trade with Pacquiao.

Pacquaio smiled whenever Horn landed, but seemed to find Horn’s style awkward.

Jeff Horn of Australia (left) and current title holder Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (right) during the WBO World Welterweight Title fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, July 2, 2017. © AAP Image/Dave Hunt Jeff Horn of Australia (left) and current title holder Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (right) during the WBO World Welterweight Title fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Most of the rounds in the fight were close and could have been scored either way. Horn arguably had slightly the better of the first six rounds, before Pacquiao upped the intensity from Rounds 7-9.

During Round 9, Pacquiao landed several big shots and Horn looked out on his feet. In between rounds, the referee informed Horn’s corner that he would stop the fight if Horn didn’t “show him something” in Round 10.

Jeff Horn of Australia © Chris Hyde/Getty Images Jeff Horn of Australia Horn got his second wind, and showed huge heart to claw his way back into the contest in Round 10.

Both fighters were exhausted but fought desperately in Rounds 11 and 12, knowing the title was on the line.

But, it was Horn who did enough in the judge’s eyes to earn a unanimous decision.

It was the biggest crowd to ever witness a boxing match in Australia, breaking the previous record of 38,000 set by Australia’s former three-division world champion Jeff Fenech against Ghana’s Azumah Nelson in 1992.

Horn’s record moves to 17-0-1 with the win, while Pacquiao drops to 59-7-2.

There is a rematch clause in the contract, and Pacquaio said immediately after the fight that he wanted a rematch.

Jeff Horn of Australia celebrates his win. © AAP Image/Dave Hunt Jeff Horn of Australia celebrates his win. He also said he didn’t expect such a tough fight, and that he respected the judges’ decision.

The loss could also spell the end of the 38-year-old 11-time world champion’s career. He doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone, he will always be remembered as a legend of the sport – but time may have caught up with him.

Meanwhile, Horn’s win opens a world of lucrative future opportunities for him, including a rematch with Pacquiao.

The welterweight division is currently awash with talent. There are two other undefeated champions, both from America. 28-year-old Keith “One Time” Thurman (28-0) is the reigning WBA and WBC champ, while 27-year-old Errol Spence Jr (22-0) is the IBF champ after impressively stopping former champ, Englishman Kell Brook (36-2), in the 11th round at Wembley in May.

Generation next in the welterweight division has well and truly arrived.

Horn doesn’t have to make a quick decision on his immediate future. For now, he can sit back and enjoy the accolades of one of the greatest performances in Australian boxing history.

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