Jeff Horn: Boxing, Narangba Heights and Me
As Jeff Horn prepares to take on reigning WBO World welterweight title holder, Manny Pacquiao, he took a moment to speak with us about his connection with Narangba and life outside of the ring.
At only twenty-nine years of age, the young Australian boxer currently holds the IBF Inter-Continental welterweight and the WBO Inter-Continental welterweight titles, achievements that may not have been possible without the sponsorship of Narangba Heights developer, Oxmar Properties.
“Phil Murphy, Director of Oxmar Properties, has been a massive help and he has been pretty much my main sponsor since the beginning,” Jeff shared. “When I needed support, he supported my dreams 100%.”
Commonly known as ‘The Hornet’, the former high school teacher has had the goal of being World Champion from the moment he started boxing. “You have to aim for the top, that is what I believe. I don’t want to aim small and hit it, I would rather aim big and smash it,” said Jeff.
Yet aiming big doesn’t come easy, with mental toughness being one of the key qualities which gets Jeff through. “Currently, I am doing twenty to twenty-four rounds a day which is a pretty intense workout, plus drills and a few hours of pure boxing. The willingness not to give up at any stage is what makes some of the best fighters.”
This determination will see ‘The Hornet’ take on eight division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, at Suncorp Stadium on July 2, and as he visualises his win, he describes how it feels to knock out his opponents.
“It is great feeling, as then you know that you are not going to get hit anymore,” Jeff laughed. “The knock out means that it’s all over. You have done what you were there to do and you can relax. It is a sense of relief and accomplishment all at the same time.”
With a strong reputation as an exceptional family man dedicated to a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle, Jeff humbly shared some of his toughest moments in amateur boxing that helped him get to where he is today, noting that they were some of the hardest times due to long bouts without family.
“On top of this I was studying my Education degree at University. It was very hard but was essential to get me where I am today experience-wise. It taught me to deal with different and unfamiliar circumstances that you get put in to and how to adapt to any situation.
“Phil Murphy from Oxmar Properties provided me with the means to give up teaching and focus on a professional fighting career. He supported me and my family in that transition, long before my name was known outside of the classroom.
“Phil’s dedication to my passion has literally paved the way in my journey. Without him, I doubt very much that I’d be boxing in any professional capacity.”
In fifty years, Jeff hopes that he is remembered as one of the best world champions there has been. Yet he is confident his connection with Narangba will still be strong after his boxing career.
“When I hang up the boxing gloves, I know Phil Murphy and Oxmar Properties will continue to be a wonderful support.”
The Narangba Heights property developer agrees. “Every Australian should be proud of this young man and inspired by the way he conducts himself in and out of the ring,” said Mr Phil Murphy. “Oxmar Properties was there at the start of Jeff’s World Champion journey years ago, and we will be there beyond the finish.”
DID YOU KNOW?
I grew up in Pallara.
When I am not boxing, I am playing poker.
When I was growing up I wanted to be a soccer player.
I can’t do without my chocolate.
My greatest achievement to date has been going to the Olympic Games.
If I could be better at anything it would be boxing, because the better I am the more I get from the sport.
I am at my happiest when I am spending time with family and friends.
Most people don’t know that I was a high school teacher in Physical Education and Computing prior to boxing. I still have a bit to do with my old schools that I used to teach at, and I am going to be doing a boxing course with one of my former schools.
My first ever fight that I can remember was when I was playing a game of handball. Somehow, I lost and ended up back in line, but when the guy I lost to got out, he punched me in the side of the head.
The advice I would give other boxers is to keep training, keep turning up, put everything you can into it and believe in yourself.