CANBERRA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Boxer Jeff Horn has been awarded Australian sport's highest individual honor after defeating Manny Pacquaio in July.
Horn was awarded The Don Award, named after cricketer Don Bradman, by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) on Thursday night.
Horn stunned the boxing world in July when he defeated Pacquaio by a unanimous points decision in his hometown of Brisbane, claiming the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) world welterweight title.
The result stirred controversy, prompting the Philippines Games and Amusements Board (PGAB) to request an official rescore of the fight which resulted in a 3-1 win for Horn.
"Many days I have thought to myself, 'did that really happen?'," Horn, a former school teacher, told the SAHOF event in Melbourne on Thursday night.
"It's been very hectic since the win but recognition and awards like this certainly help."
He said that winning The Don was a career highlight.
"It is massive," he said.
"This is a dream come true.
"I can remember growing up being inspired by previous winners such as (Olympic gold medallists) 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."
The Don Award is awarded to "a current Australian athlete or team who, by their achievements and example over the last 12 months, are considered to have had the capacity to most inspire the nation."
Horn beat a field of finalists including hurdler Sally Pearson, one of only two people to have won the award twice, the Australian women' s national football team, swimmer Emily Seebohm and surfing world champion Tyler Wright.
Horn, 29, is expected to announce that his next fight will be against the United Kingdom's Gary Corcoran in December in Brisbane.