<
>

Jeff Horn's victory over Manny Pacquiao, 'inspiration' for Tim Tszyu

play
Horn: I can be world champion again (1:47)

Almost a year since Jeff Horn's reign as WBO welterweight champion came to a crashing end, the Australian boxer is eyeing a return to the top. (1:47)

Tim Tszyu may be undefeated through 15 fights and one of Australian boxing's rising stars, but many expect him to be totally overwhelmed when he faces former world champion Jeff Horn in April.

Horn (20-2-1) has stepped into the ring with many world class fighters in recent years, most notably future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao in July, 2017 - a fight he controversially won to propel himself into boxing stardom.

In attendance that day at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium was Tszyu (15-0-0), who says witnessing Horn's fairy-tale win has fueled him with "inspiration" to go out and do the same thing.

"What Jeff did in stepping up to Manny Pacquiao is a true example of what any fighter can achieve," Tszyu said on Tuesday in Sydney, after he and Horn signed contracts to make their fight official. "I'm ready for this step and that's the same way Jeff approached the fight with Pacquiao. He was ready no matter what all of the people were saying.

"He probably would have never thought he would fight against Pacquiao, but it happened and he got it done. He won. It was an inspiration and it does inspire me to go to that next level."

Since defeating Pacquiao, Horn relinquished his belt to American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas before returning to Australia and flooring veteran Anthony Mundine inside two minutes. More recently he defeated Victorian Michael Zerafa on points, but only after losing to him in their first meeting in Bendigo.

"I learned my lesson the first time against Zerafa, not to underestimate someone. I'm certainly not going to do the same thing against Tim," Horn said. "I know what position he's in. He's at the stage I was at when I fought Pacquiao. I was at that hungry level and I was going to prove myself and to all you guys that keep talking.

"Fighting him now is definitely earlier in his career but I can't underestimate him. He's a great fighter, he's got it in his blood and he's going to come out swinging. He could quite likely be a multiple world champion one day and replicate what his dad did."

The much anticipated super welterweight fight between Horn and Tszyu, which is set to determine Australia's No. 1 boxer, will take place on Wednesday, April 22. However, a venue is still to be confirmed.

Believed to be leading the race is Sydney's Bankwest Stadium and the Brisbane Exhibition Centre, but co-promoter Dean Lonergan confirmed they are looking at a number of other venues around the country. Lonergan also said they would need "another month" to finalise the venue.

What has been confirmed is a 60-40 purse split in favour of Horn as well as a 10 round fight. There is also no rematch clause in the contract.