World champion boxer Jeff Horn and wife Jo at the Grand Canyon as he prepares for the Las Vegas fight against Terrance Crawford in the US next Sunday. Picture: Peter Wallis
World champion boxer Jeff Horn and wife Jo at the Grand Canyon as he prepares for the Las Vegas fight against Terrance Crawford in the US next Sunday. Picture: Peter Wallis

Horn vows to fight on despite wife’s plea to quit

JEFF Horn's wife says she'd like him to retire from boxing even before he gets into the ring to defend his world welterweight title against lightning fast American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas next Sunday.

Horn describes wife Jo and their five-month-old baby Isabelle as his "secret weapons" even though Jo says watching him fight is "really stressful".

"To be honest I really don't know how I handle it," she said.

"This last week before the fight is really bad as the pressure builds. But I just try to take it hour by hour and wait til it's all over. Often when he's boxing I have to look away.

"I went to Jeffrey's first amateur fight 10 years ago at Acacia Ridge and I couldn't believe that such a nice, shy placid boy would want to do boxing, but I cheered him on.

"He just has this amazing inner strength and determination and look at where he is now, in Las Vegas in this big super fight going around the world."

Horn, 30, will receive $2.5 million to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title at the MGM Grand Casino against Crawford, a two-time world champion unbeaten in 32 professional fights and so tough that he once drove himself to hospital after being shot in the head.

"Jo has kept me calm and grounded ever since we started going out more than 10 years ago and now with Isabelle they are the main reasons I'm fighting," Horn said.

"They are my inspirations. Jo and Isabelle keep me grounded, they keep me calm and they are my secret weapons.

"I love them to bits and I want to give them a good life that boxing can make for us all.

"I always said I would fight until I was 35 so I might go on for another five years.

"I really want to establish myself as the No.1 fighter in the world and beat the very best."

Crawford is regarded by many experts as the most talented fighter in the world.

But on Thursday, Horn came face to face with something even more formidable, the 466km, 1600m-deep Grand Canyon.

The Sunday Mail joined Horn, Jo and Horn's mum Liza Dykstra on a 230km/h helicopter ride from Las Vegas along the Colorado River into the canyon as Horn gasped at the majestic view of the Nevada desert.

He said the grandeur was almost as beautiful as the smile of his daughter, whose birth on December 30 caused him to cry with joy in the delivery room.

Jo told The Sunday Mail: "Jeff is the most loving, kind man you could meet. He's a wonderful father and husband and my big hope is always that he doesn't get hurt."



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