Former welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn announces retirement citing memory issues
Six years to the day since he famously defeated Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, former WBO welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn has officially announced his retirement.
The 35-year-old former schoolteacher has not boxed for three years following his eighth-round knockout loss to current WBO interim junior middleweight beltholder Tim Tszyu in Townsville, Queensland when he hit the deck in the third and sixth rounds while shipping punishment throughout the fight.
It wasn’t the only bout that saw him take punishment. Pacquiao laid plenty of leather on him but couldn’t quite get the job done, while Terence Crawford was ruthless against him en route to a ninth-round knockout victory that cost the Australian his WBO strap in his second title defense.
Both bouts against Michael Zerafa took their toll too, especially their first fight in Bendigo, Victoria that Horn lost by ninth-round knockout after being floored in the second and again in the ninth. His trainer Glenn Rushton wore the brunt of widespread criticism for not stopping the fight earlier to save Horn from absorbing any further punishment.
His brawling style, while awkward and effective, was never one built for career longevity.
A dedicated family man, Horn says he rejected a $1 million offer to fight again to spend more time with his wife and three daughters.
“I could have taken $1 million for another fight, but my health is more important than wealth,” said Horn to the Courier Mail.
“To be honest, I’ve had my concerns. I’ve had some issues with my memory. I can’t remember things that someone my age should retain.
“My wife Jo says I have always been useless with my memory. It’s frustrating. I forget things all the time and I don’t like it.
“I’ve had some tests done on my brain and I was told if I kept going there was a high potential risk of things getting worse and my brain suffering more. The results showed I am below average for memory recall for a normal person my age.
“There is no training you can do to make my brain better. Once it’s damaged, there’s no going back, so that made it a no-brainer to retire.”
“I need to protect myself because I want to be able to remember my children’s names and the big moments in their lives.
“Every parent knows the love for their children and the feeling you get from seeing their achievements. As a parent, you live for that and you do everything in your power to love your kids and guide them.
“You can’t do that when you are punch-drunk.”
Horn took up boxing to protect himself from bullies and is involved in a campaign called ‘Bullyproof’ to help prevent bullying in Queensland schools.