Everyone loves a ‘feel good’ moment – and I’ve got two today.
First, the fairytale, starting with school teacher, Jeff Horn, beating 11-time world welterweight boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao, in front of 51,052 people in his hometown of Brisbane.
It was an unexpected outcome for Pacquiao’s handlers. They predicted it would all be over for their man within three rounds.
They and other so-called experts in the world appeared to forget that, in his short 17-bout career, Horn had won all but one. Of the 16 he won (up until yesterday), 11 were knockouts. Inexperienced he may have been compared with Pacquiao – ineffective he wasn’t.
What is so upsetting though is to see how many people in the boxing world can’t take the decision. It was a unanimous points decision to Horn, and while the home crowd was obviously enraptured, so many others were not.
Pacquiao’s trainer has called for an inquiry into the scoring system. Then the social media trolls follow. Instead of being able to enjoy the win, and the dual good news of his wife’s pregnancy, he’s been roundly abused by fans on his social media pages. Some in the media gave Horn no time whatsoever, and one famously even denigrated him for daring to take a shot at the title!
WTF!? Isn’t that what we love about sport? That, against the odds, someone like Jeff Horn can aspire to be a world champion and, through dedication, commitment and hard work, actually see it happen?
Get a life people.
Well done Jeff Horn. I would be writing this even if you were not an Australian: the fact that you are makes it even better mate.
The second ‘feel-good’ moment of the weekend is something I want to share from the Gold Coast Marathon yesterday. (The Gold Coast is a beautiful stretch of magnificent beaches about 70km south of the city of Brisbane).
It’s the type of action that reminds you how wonderful people and sport can be.
David Carver is an Olympian from Mauritius who was running the half-marathon as part of his preparation for the world championships in London in August. As he was coming down the straight, he noticed a woman marathon runner who was doing it tough. He stopped, turned back, and helped her get over the line – but not too much so she wasn’t disqualified.
He found out later that it was a New Zealand distance runner, Mary Davies, who was suffering in the brilliant sunshine and warmth of what passes as winter in that part of the world.
This short video taken from the live stream shows you what Carver did.
If you want to do one thing today that will help you feel better about the basic goodness of most people, then watch it.
Good on you Mary Davies. Well played David Carver.