(Taken from YouTube video interview with Peter Maniatis, via Jeff Horns Facebook page)
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
”The London 2012 Olympics were exciting times. It was a big moment in my career. It was something I had been training for my whole boxing career. I had only been boxing four or five years so I was pretty lucky to make those Olympics in that short of time. There were some big names fighting. Anthony Joshua was one of them. Denys Berinchyk (Silver Medalist) of the Ukraine who beat me in the quarter-finals was another big name. I went alright – I won my first two fights (Gilbert Choombe of Zambia and Abderrazak Houya of Tunisia) and but Berinchyk I guess was too much for me in the end.
“I first started in Martial Arts. I trained with Glenn Rushton in Scorpion Martial Arts. I never went for the Black Belt. I was never interested the whole belt side of it.
BEATING NOUFELL BEN RABAH
“I had won the Australian title ( in 2013 as a professional) and I knew I had to go on to bigger and better things so in my seventh professional fight I took on some tougher opposition when two-time world challenger Noufell Ben Rabah (37-3 )happened. That fight came out of nowhere. I fought him in Perth in a winner take all fight. I think it was AUD$6000 for us in the end. That was my biggest payday for awhile. I was pretty confident – you have to be. As a fighter you are confident in your ability. I had got rid of Sam Colomban ( KO 1) – who was meant to be a tough fight. I thought I should be able to beat Ben Rabah. (Horn WPTS Rabah)
BOXING ON JOSEPH PARKER UNDERCARDS
“It was great and that’s all I knew in that era boxing on (Fox televised) Joseph Parker undercards in New Zealand. I was used to fighting on undercards and I was chuffed on Joseph Parker undercards because I knew how popular he was and he is a great guy. I thought ‘this is awesome fighting just before him’ so I knew people would be watching. It was exciting times.
“I started taking on some really tough opposition (Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka in 2016) in Brisbane (with Bob Arum in attendance). There were some tough guys but I was still beating them and stopping a couple of them. It really made my confidence grow. I really had trust in my ability and what I could do as a boxer. I think I was like everyone else when I got the call that I was going to fight Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane – I said what? Is this real? Is this some TV prank?
“Manny Pacquiao was a superstar – he was the whole way through during our preparations. Meeting him in the flesh and seeing him that he is just normal. Just looking at him there was nothing special about him as you do with anyone else. It’s like – I can beat this guy. If I move the way I move and be unpredictable and I know that’s how Pacquiao fights as well. I am bigger than this guy and I can use that against him – I can win this fight. I just had full trust in my ability at that stage.
“Manny seemed very blasé (when he was at press conferences) in Australia. I thought very highly of Pacquiao in boxing for a long time. He was one of my idols. Pacquiao was extraordinary to watch. His demeanor around the sport. He seemed like a really nice guy but he could fight like a little monster. I wanted to be like that. To fight him and try and beat him – that was GOLD.
“I was a bit frustrated (at press conferences) The way Manny was on his phone and out of it and not interested. It gave me the feeling he was that confident he didn’t really care. He really didn’t know who he was fighting. They have picked a guy from Australia for me – I will knock him over very quickly. That’s a good ten million in his pocket and see you later. And I thought to myself – I am going to make this extremely difficult for you. I wasn’t going down without a fight.
“I didn’t get any congratulations from Manny after the 2017 fight – I might have got a pat on the back. He was saying to me ‘break’ at the start of the fight – I automatically went back the first time. I thought he doesn’t like me doing that so maybe I should keep clinching because I don’t have to listen to him. I only have to listen to the referee.
“I would have been keen on a rematch. I would have to get the offer to consider it. There was never an offer for a rematch with Manny in the Philippines or anywhere.
“I was worried that after I beat Manny that (people would say) he has had it and that Manny was done – you got him at the right time but he has won the world title and beat some decent guys (Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman). I am very happy and proud of Manny and proud of myself because I did beat Pacquiao.
“I remember the paparazzi coming to my house. I said what are you doing. The photographer said I want you to do something natural like putting out your garbage bins. I actually did that for him and it wasn’t even bin day.
“Gary Corcoran was a very tough guy. He gave me a tough fight that’s for sure. I have high respect for him. Then it was off to Las Vegas (in 2018) to fight Terrence Crawford. That was a tough fight – very tough. I was stopped in the ninth round. That brutal ninth round that I keep having (also in Manny Pacquiao fight). I probably did it wrong by staying in one of the main casinos and I had a lot of people around. I think that sapped a lot of energy. I had a newborn child at that stage. She was in the same room as us even though we asked for multiple rooms. It was just one big room and we had her over in the corner. So there were a lot of things I could have done a little bit better leading into that fight. Just staying in a hotel room wasn’t the smartest move and I just felt like we were the underdogs. We were treated like we weren’t going to win that fight. I guess he had everything and they were trying to show we had nothing.
“I took the Michael Zerafa fight (August 2019) because I knew that was probably the toughest fight I could take in Australia. I took a few shortcuts. The diet wasn’t 100% on point. There were tiny little things you would shave off here and there and those little things add up to a percentage and that’s a percentage you cannot let go against top opposition like Michael Zerafa because he definitely proved himself that night he was a force to be reckoned with. ( Zerafa TKO9 Horn) I knew I had fought better opposition and I knew I could beat him. I was very angry the way he (Zerafa) was talking about me and my trainer (Glenn Rushton) as well. Just kind of demeaning us. Saying we had done nothing and we were not very good. I said I want a rematch. I wanted to prove that I could do a lot better then what I did in that first fight. (Horn defeated majority points decision Zerafa in the December 2019 rematch).”