Coast cop steps into ring with world champ Jeff Horn
COAST detective Dan Purdie has carved a career out of pinching some of society's worst, but he was struggling to lay a hand on the world's best.
Detective Senior Sergeant Purdie, of the Sunshine Coast District Child Protection Investigation Unit, stepped into the ring on Wednesday night against world champion Jeff Horn.
The informal sparring session with the 29-year-old golden boy of boxing was arranged through a mutual friend.
Mr Purdie, the LNP's candidate for the seat of Ninderry in the upcoming State Election, was still in disbelief this morning.
"I've got a sore jaw," he laughed.
"I'm still pumped, I'm still on a high."
Horn, 29, famously beat 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane in July to claim the world title.
While a rematch with Pacquiao could still be on the cards, it was a very different challenge he faced against Mr Purdie.
Mr Purdie, a former Queensland Police Games boxing representative, said he hadn't pulled on the gloves for about two decades and had been scrambling, calling his mum to see if he still had an old mouthguard and gloves lying around.
He admitted he was "s******g" himself as he drove down to Horn's base at Stretton Boxing Gym in Brisbane last night.
"He's (Horn) a great bloke," Mr Purdie said.
"He could've knocked me out in about a second.
"I'll be telling my grandkids about this."
The duo sparred for three two-minute rounds.
Mr Purdie said the few punches he did land were returned with interest, as Horn reminded him who the world champion was.
"You cannot imagine how long two minutes can take," Mr Purdie said with a laugh.
"I couldn't hit him.
"If you hit him he'll just hit you back that little bit harder."
To his credit, Mr Purdie kept his feet, although he had a wobble about a minute-and-a-half into the session, as Horn landed a short, sharp left hook.
To Horn's credit he was leaving plenty in the tank, happy to put Mr Purdie through his paces but playing the gentleman role the nation has come to love him for.
Mr Purdie said he was throwing combinations but Horn was easily stepping them.
"He made me look like a chump," a still ecstatic Mr Purdie said.
"I was just air swinging."
He said the hit that had him wobbling was "not a monster" either, but had plenty of speed.
"They're not big hits, but they were hurting," he said.
Mr Purdie said he'd been watching Mr Horn's story on Australian Story this week and told his six-year-old daughter he would be getting in the ring with the granite-chin champ.
"I just can't believe it happened," he said, full of praise for the likeable Mr Horn who's fast become a Queensland favourite as fans lap up 'The Hornet's' down-to-earth approach.