Lost in the Shadow of an Historic Moment, Jeff Horn Scored a Big Win

PARKER vs RUIZ; HORN vs FUNEKA — How big was the Parker-Ruiz fight in the context of New Zealand’s sporting heritage? Before the fight, a tub-thumper for the local promotional group said that if Joseph Parker were to defeat Andy Ruiz, it would place Parker on the same exalted plane as the late Sir Edmund Hillary in the mind of his countrymen. The Auckland-born Hillary and his Nepalese guide Tenzing Norgay were the first humans to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

That analogy was over the top, but Parker’s victory was yet a watershed moment in the history of New Zealand sports. When his arm was raised after the conclusion of the tense battle, the Auckland-born Parker became the first native New Zealander to win a world heavyweight title and he turned the trick in the first heavyweight championship fight ever contested on Kiwi soil.

Parker was also bidding to become the first heavyweight champion of Somoan ancestry. David Tua knocked out five fighters who at various times held versions of the heavyweight title, but he came up short in his lone stab at a world title, losing a lopsided decision to Lennox Lewis. Before Tua, Jimmy Thunder (aka James Peau) sported heavyweight title belts, but they were bestowed upon him by fringe organizations.

The event was captivating. The star-studded crowd included New Zealand’s outgoing Prime Minister and his successor who officially takes office on Monday. But the fight itself — which one writer described as unexciting, but yet enthralling — lacked indelible moments. Working behind an excellent jab, Parker chipped away at Ruiz’s early lead and brought home the bacon. One judge had it a draw; the others each gave Parker seven of the 12 rounds.

Before the bout Ruiz said matter-of-factly that he knew that in this hostile environment he would be two points behind before the first bell rang, but he accepted the decision without rancor, resisting the urge to state the obvious – that he would have likely copped the verdict, or at least salvaged a draw, had the fight been staged in the western United States.

Big money fights await Joseph Parker and, to a lesser extent, Jeff Horn, the Australian welterweight from Brisbane who defeated South African veteran Ali Funeka in the chief undercard bout. In a fight in which both battlers were bloodied by accidental head butts, Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) stopped Funeka (39-6-3) in the sixth round. A short right hand from Horn knocked the fading Funeka off his pins. He beat the count, but rose on wobbly legs, impelling the referee to intervene.

A quarterfinalist for Australia in the 2012 Olympics, Jeff Horn is being touted as the best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech. He is promoted by Duco, the same company that manages the affairs of Joseph Parker.

During his stay in New Zealand, Bob Arum reached an agreement with Duco to be Horn’s North American representative. Arum is enamored of the 28-year-old former schoolteacher, whose wholesome, middle class image makes him very marketable in a sport long identified with hard-boiled characters.

“This kid, I can sell him as being as American as apple pie,” says Arum of Horn, the cousin of Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

A match between Horn and the ill-bred Adrien Broner would be an easy sell, but Arum apparently has different ideas. He has talked about putting Horn in with Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley and then, if Horn should win, thrusting him against Manny Pacquiao.

Arum’s trip to New Zealand was bittersweet. He worked out a deal whereby he will have a piece of Joseph Parker if he can induce Parker to fight in the United States or Macau, but he would have much preferred seeing Andy Ruiz become the first fighter of Mexican extraction to win a world heavyweight title. But if things work out the way Arum envisions, both Parker and Jeff Horn will inflate his coffers in 2017.

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Wow! Great piece to reminisce on. YUP! Horn has been lost in the history book pages of pugilism. Dude was AIGHT and a bag of chips. But his biggest problems were bad mismanagement and fast lady luv. Terrible managers destroy boksing careers and fast dames destroy boxers' minds and legs. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

* *PARKER vs. RUIZ; HORN vs. FUNEKA -- How big was the Parker-Ruiz fight in the context of New Zealand?s sporting heritage? Before the fight, a tub-thumper for the local promotional group said that if Joseph Parker were to defeat Andy Ruiz, it would place Parker on the same exalted plane as the late Sir Edmund Hillary in the mind of his countrymen. The Auckland-born Hillary and his Nepalese guide Tenzing Norgay were the first humans to reach the summit of Mount Everest. That analogy was over the top, but Parker?s victory was yet a watershed moment in the history of New Zealand sports. When his arm was raised after the conclusion of the tense battle, the Auckland-born Parker became the first native New Zealander to win a world heavyweight title and he turned the trick in the first heavyweight championship fight ever contested on Kiwi soil. Parker was also bidding to become the first heavyweight champion of Somoan ancestry. David Tua knocked out five fighters who at various times held versions of the heavyweight title, but he came up short in his lone stab at a world title, losing a lopsided decision to Lennox Lewis. Before Tua, Jimmy Thunder (aka James Peau) sported heavyweight title belts, but they were bestowed upon him by fringe organizations. The event was captivating. The star-studded crowd included New Zealand?s outgoing Prime Minister and his successor who officially takes office on Monday. But the fight itself -- which one writer described as unexciting, but yet enthralling -- lacked indelible moments. Working behind an excellent jab, Parker chipped away at Ruiz?s early lead and brought home the bacon. One judge had it a draw; the others each gave Parker seven of the 12 rounds. Before the bout Ruiz said matter-of-factly that he knew that in this hostile environment he would be two points behind before the first bell rang, but he accepted the decision without rancor, resisting the urge to state the obvious ? that he would have likely copped the verdict, or at least salvaged a draw, had the fight been staged in the western United States. Big money fights await Joseph Parker and, to a lesser extent, Jeff Horn, the Australian welterweight from Brisbane who defeated South African veteran Ali Funeka in the chief undercard bout. In a fight in which both battlers were bloodied by accidental head butts, Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) stopped Funeka (39-6-3) in the sixth round. A short right hand from Horn knocked the fading Funeka off his pins. He beat the count, but rose on wobbly legs, impelling the referee to intervene. A quarterfinalist for Australia in the 2012 Olympics, Jeff Horn is being touted as the best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech. He is promoted by Duco, the same company that manages the affairs of Joseph Parker. During his stay in New Zealand, Bob Arum reached an agreement with Duco to be Horn?s North American representative. Arum is enamored of the 28-year-old former schoolteacher, whose wholesome, middle class image makes him very marketable in a sport long identified with hard-boiled characters. ?This kid, I can sell him as being as American as apple pie,? says Arum of Horn, the cousin of Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. A match between Horn and the ill-bred Adrien Broner would be an easy sell, but Arum apparently has different ideas. He has talked about putting Horn in with Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley and then, if Horn should win, thrusting him against Manny Pacquiao. Arum?s trip to New Zealand was bittersweet. He worked out a deal whereby he will have a piece of Joseph Parker if he can induce Parker to fight in the United States or Macau, but he would have much preferred seeing Andy Ruiz become the first fighter of Mexican extraction to win a world heavyweight title. But if things work out the way Arum envisions, both Parker and Jeff Horn will inflate his coffers in 2017. Check out more boxing news on video at [url=http://theboxingchannel.tv]The Boxing Channel
Ruiz won the fight , except that he slowed down at times. Parker is not a top heavy. Horn reminds me of Katsides, he better go for it now. Lack of defense makes short careers. Lock of the week, army + 6 over navy. Lock of the week in boxing, abner mares gets stopped or throws in towel.


-oubobcat :

Ruiz won the fight , except that he slowed down at times. Parker is not a top heavy. Horn reminds me of Katsides, he better go for it now. Lack of defense makes short careers. Lock of the week, army + 6 over navy. Lock of the week in boxing, abner mares gets stopped or throws in towel.
Army and plus 6 look pretty good right now. And with you on Mares getting stopped. I am going Cuellar TKO 10. Maybe Mares has some spots early (some) but I think Cuellar is going to be pretty dominant and lay a beating on Mares who will no doubt show ton of heart but ultimately be outgunned.


-stormcentre :

Oh dear. The hype bandwagon seems to be in top gear replete with claims (pertaining to Australian fighters/history, Horn, and Arum) that (in some senses) come across as if they're unfiltered straight from other sources and, quite frankly, (at best) questionable. Firstly, it was a good win for Horn and he is a great prospect; agreed. But . . . . The best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech? Please !!!! This reads like the management of Horn/Parker sent it through. I could go a reasonable way down the list of guys that have - since Jeff Fenech - come out of Australia, and still arrive at a few fighters that are from and/or have lived in Australia that are better than (the current version of) Horn and have fought better competition than him. Robbie Peden, Anthony Mundine, Billy Dib, Justin Rowsell, Shannon Taylor, Michael Katsidis, Danny Green, Jeff Harding, Sam Soliman, and Lovemore Ndou. There you go. And (since I haven't put guys like Lester Ellis, Daniel Geale, and Tszyu in there, you can see) they're not even the top picks (of the best guys to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech); but they're all still ahead of (the current version of) Horn in terms of being the best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech. And let's be straight here, Horn is (still *) fighting - at best - "C" grade welterweight competition (and in the case of Funeka) that's nowhere near its prime. As far as the welterweight division is concerned, Funeka is (now) about as dangerous and washed up as one of Horn's other recent opponents; Randall Bailey. Funeka's best days where when he fought the technical wizard Joan Guzman; and they're long gone. Happy to hear counter views on why Ali Funeka is not as I claim.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ * 2015 Horn V Plotnykov fight.


->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?22299-An-Interesting-Example-Of-How-To-Manipulate-Rules-A-Bout-amp-An-Incompetent-Referee&p=86689&viewfull=1#post86689
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?22299-An-Interesting-Example-Of-How-To-Manipulate-Rules-A-Bout-amp-An-Incompetent-Referee&p=86723&viewfull=1#post86723
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?22299-An-Interesting-Example-Of-How-To-Manipulate-Rules-A-Bout-amp-An-Incompetent-Referee&p=86742&viewfull=1#post86742
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?22299-An-Interesting-Example-Of-How-To-Manipulate-Rules-A-Bout-amp-An-Incompetent-Referee&p=86770&viewfull=1#post86770

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Ever since Horn struggled with Viktor Plotnykov (whom, within the scheme of things, was {for Horn} a reasonably experienced/competent Eastern Bloc fighter) in 2015 and his corner managed to questionably manipulate proceedings as detailed within the above provided hyperlinks, Horn's competition has arguably been (even more) carefully selected; perhaps to ensure there are no further Plotnykov-like surprises. Plotnykov gave Horn and his management quite a surprise - possibly revealing how poorly they had done their matchmaking; and ever since then we have seen Horn face competition that is - if anything - very un Jeff Fenech like. Which (even aside from the fact that neither; Plotnykov, Funeka, Bailley, or Mueller {Horn's last 4 opponents} are considered (by independent and non-sanctioning bodies) to be within the top 50 welterweights in the world right now) is a little concerning, especially given that Horn is supposedly;


A) Not only, the best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech.
B) But also, apparently the next guy inline to fight Pacquaio.

Does anyone here really think Jeff Horn deserves a shot at Pacquaio and is even in Pac's (now veteran/dimished) league? AK47, as TSS Editor in chief you should know and/or check all this. I say that as, the story comes across a little like a promotional piece - which is usually passable provided the facts stand on their own 2 feet; and I am not sure they and the hype do. I like Horn and he has potential. But, when Horn's management ceases to select the opponents in the careful manner they currently (and perhaps wisely) do - and when Horn proves himself against a top (even) "B" grade welterweight and one that's not clearly on the decline; then we can perhaps start ringing the celebration bell loudly and consider whether he's the best boxer to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech. Unless anyone thinks Jeff Horn is ready for Pacquaio (or Brook, or Spence, or Thurman) . . . . . All that is happening here is that Jeff Horn is being moved into the (
~
import) position that Golden Boy - Top Rank previously had Will Tomlinson in (for Fransisco Vargas) so Arum can keep it all under his hat, and some are buying into what Arum is saying about Horn and in doing so facilitating the ruse.
~
This view also appears to align with the comments here . . . .


->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?272167316-Heavyweight-Hopeful-Andy-Ruiz-Takes-His-Act-on-the-Road-Is-he-a-Live-Dog&p=108439&viewfull=1#post108439 ""When one observes this pattern in a fighter with a solid record, particularly a heavyweight, it?s a fair guess that he is being fattened up to serve as fodder for a rising contender overseas. But Andy Ruiz is promoted by Top Rank which doesn?t play this game (
they will import fighters with misleading records, but they don?t export them).""

So, in summary (and without the hype). . . On Saturday night Jeff Horn had another good win in New Zealand - the hometown of his management company and place where the above-mentioned Horn V Plotnykov debacle took place without resistance and/or repercussion - and his abilities are promising. Bob Arum is looking for another starry eyed import that will say and do anything to get a shot at the big time, and Horn (particularly whilst both, he continues to win against the competition he is facing and Arum knows his management team are aching to get their first taste of premier league boxing/cheques; and will therefore offer little negotiation resistance) appears to be it. Whilst Horn has not proven himself to be a top contender, Arum is not concerned about that because (even aside form the options on Horn he will get if a Pacquaio fight comes off and Pacquaio should lose) Bob - primarily - has other plans for Horn. Namely as fodder and an easy win (that will raise none of the concerns that Berto did for Floyd) for Pac. When and if Jeff Horn fights, beats, and even stops a top contender in the same fashion as he did Funeka, we can then safely consider Jeff to be genuine world title material. Until then, the fact of the matter is that there are many, many, other Australian fighters ahead of Horn that themselves are still not the best thing to come out of Austalia since Jeff Fenech. I for one, hope Jeff Horn goes all the way. However, I suspect that being matched/managed as he currently is, will probably eventually hurt him. Cheers,
Storm. :) :) :)


-ArneK. :

Excellent points Stormcentre, but for the record I never said Jeff Horn was the best fighter to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech; merely that he was being touted as such. Bob Arum is acutely attuned to storylines and Horn, who Arum sees as an Aussie version of the All-American boy, seemingly possessing all the good old-fashioned virtues, is a good story. In his heyday, Kostya Tsyzu was Lomachenko-esque, but I never considered him an Australian as his roots were in the same general area that gave us GGG.


-stormcentre :

Excellent points Stormcentre, but for the record I never said Jeff Horn was the best fighter to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech; merely that he was being touted as such. Bob Arum is acutely attuned to storylines and Horn, who Arum sees as an Aussie version of the All-American boy, seemingly possessing all the good old-fashioned virtues, is a good story. In his heyday, Kostya Tsyzu was Lomachenko-esque, but I never considered him an Australian as his roots were in the same general area that gave us GGG.
Hey there AK47. Yes, you may have never said Jeff Horn was the best fighter to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech. And, yes you may have alluded to how Horn was being touted as such. But the fact remains the piece has your name on it - you're the Editor in chief - and you did not (even attempt to) temper the above view with dare I say it . . . . . Facts. And, on the matter of facts and/or whether Jeff Horn is the best fighter to come out of Australia since Jeff Fenech . . . . Aside from how big that claim (whether quoted or not) that was; there were quite a few glaring facts that were (easily accessible and) overlooked. Which, as you can see from my post #5 (to which you have replied), some are detailed there. When there is such an easily checkable disparity between what someone (and/or an Editor in chief) writes and/or allows readers to think, then I think it's not unreasonable to point out the facts; as was the case with my above post #5.

I appreciate the right to be selective about what you pass and pull up is yours. And I also appreciate that hype and factoids can crawl into a piece and infest it in a way where the author can claim no liability by virtue of the quote. But, I have seen you pull up and/or temper far less exaggerative claims about boxers and the fight game.


And so it was, that the below and aforementioned comments within your piece about Horn grabbed my attention. Additionally, the comments about Arum within your piece - especially those related to him being able to (import?) sell Horn to the USA public - were almost verbatim as at other sites. Which also strengthened my above views and led me to wonder about both, the purpose and reliability of the piece; hence my post #5. I would have thought, since you can do better and since you're the Editor, you would do a little better than this; that's all. I mean you have an in house historian on hand, and I know Miguel is only an email/call away and pretty up to pace on Australian boxing history. I doubt he (or Bert Sugar) would have let such a wild (""best thing since Jeff Fenech"") claim - particularly one pertaining to a guy that has the last 4 opponents that Horn does (as detailed within my above post #5) - go whizzing by the eyes and/or earlobes without some kind of obvious tempering and/or explicit reality check.

After all (even without examining Jeff Horn's last 4 fights, those opponent's true caliber, and the Horn V Plotnykov disaster) it is patently obvious that;


A) Not only, is Jeff Horn nowhere near the next best thing to Fenech - not yet anyway.
B) But also, Bob Arum is positioning (the *import) Horn for someone he's not ready for; Pacquaio.

Furthermore;


A) Not only is it reasonable to expect you to know and write about this and/or those angles too; if for no other reason than to prevent overly hyped and/or misleading impressions.
B) But I also note that (within my above post #5; please see hyperlink in the bottom of that post) you yourself explicitly comment on how Arum manages *imports and does what I refer to within the directly above point "B". Which, I would have thought, makes my raised points/concerns within post #5 all the more valid.



Hey, it's nothing personal - just saying. This forum isn't the best boxing forum around because we don't know our stuff. I try to be even handed but, as stated previously, your story came across a little like a promotional piece - which is usually passable provided the facts stand on their own 2 feet. And, I am not sure that both, they and the hype do. To (substantiate and) prove I am evenhanded . . . . I liked your pre Parker V Ruiz piece on Parker, and commented on that very favorably.


->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?272167316-Heavyweight-Hopeful-Andy-Ruiz-Takes-His-Act-on-the-Road-Is-he-a-Live-Dog&p=108460&viewfull=1#post108460

See? But this one . . . . . well, AK47 it came across (to me at least) like a skewed (Colonel Bob Sheridan {whom was partly responsible for facilitating the above-mentioned Horn V Plotnykov debacle} or Grantlee Kieza) promotional piece, that could have easily been better researched with just a little more effort. The truly deep waters are only ever but a step away in this sport of ours and Jeff Horn is yet to really show us how he will survive his first few steps in them. For now Horn is - aside from him being a good championship contender coming off of a win against a faded and predictable opponent within a fight that effectively took place on hometown soil - knocking on the door of a promoter (Arum) looking for alternative revenue streams. Arum will say and do all that's required to keep the Vargas/Bradley/PacGravyTrain in motion. And, if that means throwing Horn on the track and under the train, then so be it; it wouldn’t be the first time and it won’t be the last. But, even a wise man would surely be foolish to think that beating today’s version of Ali Funeka legitimately paves the way for a the right to fight with Pacquaio. I hope Horn fulfills all his dreams. But it is what it is. And what it is, is not anywhere near Jeff Fenech. Not yet anyway. Finally, to your closing comment about Kostya Tszyu. Please note that within post #5 I stated . . . . .

""I could go a reasonable way down the list of guys that have - since Jeff Fenech - come out of Australia,
and still arrive at a few fighters that are from and/or have lived in Australia that are better than (the current version of) Horn and have fought better competition than him"".

That said, for the sake of fairness, let’s let Kostya Tszyu go for now. And, in that case please just use either; Robbie Peden, Danny Green, Jeff Harding, or Sam Solimon. As (whilst none are my top picks) they're all still quite a distance ahead of Horn in the stakes of whom is the best in boxing - since Jeff Fenech - to come out of Australia. I like most of your stuff AK47; just not this one. Regards,
Storm. :) :)