That’s what referee Mark Nelson told Jeff Horn as he recovered from a brutal ninth round.
The Australian’s face was covered in blood, with a nasty cut above his right eye. He had barely managed to survive an onslaught of heavy blows from reigning world champion, Manny Pacquiao, who seemed to be just one good shot away from knocking him out. It was all Horn could do to hang on until the bell.
Nelson almost ended the fight then and there out of concern for his safety. “I’m here to protect you. Do you want to continue?” he asked.
But there was never any chance of Horn quitting. Speaking after the fight, he said he didn’t even understand why the official had threatened to call time.
“I was actually more worried about the look on his face. I wasn’t actually too bad. I was like, ‘Settle down everyone, I’m fine.’ I had recovered and settled down by that stage,” he said.
In the end, Horn’s early lead after a brutal start to the fight proved enough, even as he wilted in the final rounds. The aggression and punishment he dealt in the opening stages built too much of a lead for Pacquiao to haul in.
“That’s heart,” Horn said of the ninth round. “Getting through that round. Being able to get hit, to get caught with a shot and continue on.”
HOW IT UNFOLDED
Jeff Horn (17-0-1) defeated Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2) via unanimous decision (115-113 x 2, 117-111)
Jeff Horn came out throwing the opening shots, scoring well.
The Australia showed no signs of nerves, flying out of the blocks. Horn trapped Pacquiao against the ropes and scored well to the body.
Horn then scored away on the ropes, trapping the Filipino and hitting the body again.
Pacquiao managed to land a punch on his own, seeing the mouthguard of Horn out, forcing a stop to the fight.
Horn takes the first round.
Danny Green was thrilled with the Australian’s opening. “He was all over Pacquiao like a rash,” he said.
Pacquiao found his range in the second round, Horn unable to find the Filipino as freely as he did in the opening round.
Horn seemed to be getting the best of the physical stakes, using his bigger frame to bully Pacquiao in the clinch and scoring well again to the body.
Pacquiao did land a couple of big shots that shook Horn up.
A close round, but Pacquiao may have taken it on the bell, landing some good shots to end the round.
Horn has a cut over his right eye, replays showed it was due to an accidental head clash.
Horn didn’t let the cut put him off his game as he continued to pressure Pacquiao.
The Australian landed a solid left hook in the middle stages before Pacquiao responded with a neat right hand of his own.
Horn was warned for pushing Pacquiao in the clinch and Pacquiao landed the most telling moment of the round, landing a big shot flush on the chin of Horn that seemed to wobble the 29-year-old.
Horn opened the fourth with a lovely two punch combination on Pacquiao.
Pacquiao fell to the canvas soon after following a clinch, but it was rightly ruled a slip.
Horn again landed a nice two punch combination that landed flush on the chin of Pacquiao. But Pacquiao shook it off.
The Australian had some great moments and is certainly taking the fight to the champion after four rounds. Another close round, but Pacquiao not doing enough — allowing himself to get outworked by Horn.
Horn opened the fifth in style, forcing Pacquiao against the ropes and landing some nice shots to the body.
The Australian continued to look the busier fighter, Pacquiao only fighting in flurries.
Pacquiao landed two right hands in succession in the midway point of the round and came to life in the final 30 seconds, catching Horn with a jab as he came forward to score on the challenger.
Pacquiao finished the round with a big shot, rocking Horn just before the bell.
The Filipino might have pinched it with his late flurry. Close round, close fight.
Again Horn bullied Pacquiao against the ropes, something he has managed to open the last two rounds with.
A cut opened on Pacquiao head courtesy of an accidental head clash but the doctor gave the title holder the OK to continue.
The cut brought the WBO champion to life, Pacquiao targeting the body well. Horn landed his best punch of the fight in the final 20 seconds, a great right hand catching Pacquiao on the chin and setting him back on his heels.
Pacquiao took the shot well, but Horn is only looking better after six rounds.
“Pacquiao’s getting outworked, he’s getting out-punched, he’s getting outmuscled,” Danny Green said in commentary.
This time Pacquiao landed the opening shots in his best start to a round.
The champion caught Horn coming forward with the jab. Again Horn tried to swarm Pacquiao, but it seemed he was happy to fight off the back foot and catch Horn on the approach.
The referee again called time for an accidental head clash in the final 30 seconds of the round. It opened up another cut on the challengers head, but the doctor declared the champion was OK to continue.
Horn responded to the stoppage by swarming Pacquiao and landing some flush shots. But the champion responded to the pressure with some good shots of his own.
Have to give it to Horn.
The referee called a stoppage after a few seconds, noticing the tape had come loose from the glove of Horn.
Pacquiao landed one of his best blows of the fight but Horn wore it well. The Aussie went down to the canvas but it was ruled a push from Pacquiao.
The Australian seemed to tire as the round wound down, the early intensity taking its toll.
Pacquiao landed a good shot to the body that seemed to rock Horn momentarily. It was the best round of the fight for Pacquiao and one of the clearer rounds of the fight.
Horn started the ninth round well, taking the advantage early before Pacquiao unloaded with some devastating blows.
Pacquiao landed a right hand that rocked Horn. The Filipino hurt Horn again with a couple of big shots and the Australian wobbled.
The champion was all over Horn and it was all the local man could do to hang on until the bell.
Horn’s face was covered in blood. The Australian tried to tie up and keep Pacquiao away as he started unloading. The Filipino seemed one shot away from stopping Horn, but the challenger made it to the end of the round, albeit only just.
“Show me something in this round or I’m stopping the fight,” the referee told Horn.
Horn showed he was still in the fight, landing a couple of punches before trapping Pacquiao against the ropes and hitting the body.
The power has gone from Horn’s punches as both fighters went toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring, fatigue evident in the pair of them.
Horn wasn’t as aggressive as he had been all fight.
Pacquiao scored well to open the fight and Horn responded by forcing Pacquiao against the ropes and scoring to the body.
Horn wore a big shot to the chin, riding the punch well considering how clean the blow was. The Aussie continued to go forward, but the champion landed the more telling shots.
The referee stopped fight to have some loose tape cut from Horn’s gloves, giving him a nice breather.
A likely round for Pacquiao who now has the lead you would think.
Horn came out throwing some big shots at Pacquiao, knowing he needed to win the round to win the fight. Both fighters were out on their feet by the end of the bout.
Horn landed a good shot on Pacquiao but it didn’t rock the champion.
The referee stopped the fight again for some loose tape, handing Horn a breather.
Horn had Pacquiao against the ropes and both men scored some nice shots. Pacquiao just caught Horn as he came forward wildly.
The Australian fired away at the champion, but Pacquiao landed a shot that rocked Horn in his final flurry.
Horn and Pacquiao ended the fight going toe to toe against the ropes.