‘The Hornet’ – Jeff Horn lands ‘The Don’
Boxer Jeff ‘The Hornet’ Horn scored the upset win of 2017 when he outpunched legend Manny Pacquiao to take the WBO welterweight world title.
Horn’s win captivated a global audience and has now landed him the 2017 ‘The Don’ Award for the performance judged to have most inspired the nation.
In joining the likes of last year’s winner Michelle Payne, golf major winners Jason Day and Adam Scott and Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, Horn had to overcome a field of Australian sporting greats including two-time ‘The Don’ Award winner Sally Pearson, The Matildas and world champion swimmer Emily Seebohm.
Despite his achievement in defeating one of the greatest of all time in the Battle of Brisbane in July, Horn said to win ‘The Don’ was a career highlight.
“It is massive,” Horn said.
“I can remember growing up being inspired by previous winners such as Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe. To know I am potentially inspiring the future generation of athletes like these guys have done for me is an incredible feeling.”
“It’s been an incredible year for Australian sport. Everyone nominated has accomplished incredible achievements in their sport. To win out of the nominees is extremely rewarding and a very proud moment for myself and my family. It doesn’t get any better than this.” Horn added.
Horn said he had to pinch himself on more than one occasion since his epic take down of one of the world’s greatest ever fighters.
“Many days I have thought to myself, did that really happen? It’s been very hectic since the win but recognition and awards like this certainly help.”
Horn is set to announce his next assignment in the coming days, with a defence of his welterweight title likely to come against Englishman Gary Corcoran in Brisbane in December.
“I’ve just started the hard work, so I’ve got some heavy training coming up over the next couple of months. And of course, Jo is expecting our first baby on the 1st of January, which I’m even more excited about than the fight,” Horn said.
The Don Award is widely regarded as Australia’s leading contemporary sporting award and is named in honour of Australian sporting legend and first Sport Australia Hall of Fame Inductee, the late Sir Donald Bradman AC.
In October 2017 Jeff released his autobiography; The Hornet, From Bullied Schoolboy to World Champion.