Jeff Horn’s stunning upset victory over Filipino legend Manny Pacquaio has made him the first boxer to win The Don Award as the athlete to have most inspired Australia in 2017.
Horn claimed the World Boxing Organisation welterweight title with a unanimous points win over Pacquiao in July in Brisbane.
“Many days I have thought to myself, ‘did that really happen?’,” the former school teacher said.
“It’s been very hectic since the win but recognition and awards like this certainly help.”
Horn is expected to announce his next fight in coming days, with a likely title defence against Englishman Gary Corcoran in December in Brisbane.
He told the annual Sport Australia Hall of Fame function on Thursday night in Melbourne that winning The Don was a career highlight.
“It is massive,” the 29-year-old said.
“I can remember growing up being inspired by previous winners such as Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe.
“To know I am potentially inspiring the future generation of athletes, like these guys have done for me, is an incredible feeling,” he said.