Manny wants to grab Floyd rematch by the Horn KO

BRISBANE • Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao faces unheralded Australian challenger Jeff Horn in tomorrow's world welterweight title fight in Brisbane in pursuit of a dream rematch with Floyd Mayweather.

The Pacquiao camp says it is anticipating a "short and sweet" win over the unbeaten Horn, a former school teacher and 2012 Olympian, before an expected 50,000-strong crowd at Suncorp Stadium.

The eight-weight world champion, one of the greatest fighters of his generation, is an overwhelming favourite to improve on his career record of 59 wins, six losses and two draws.

It is revealing that the Pacquiao camp has already spoken of setting up another showdown with the unbeaten Mayweather, who outpointed "Pac-Man" in the "Fight of the Century" two years ago.

"We're chasing a rematch with Floyd Mayweather and we know he has to score a spectacular knockout win over Jeff Horn if that's going to happen," Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said.

"I'm looking for a big win in Brisbane so we can go on to bigger and better things. I've been looking for a big knockout from him for a long time now and I think you're going to see it in this fight."

While Pacquiao has been respectful towards his relatively novice opponent, members of his entourage have talked dismissively of Horn's chances of causing one of boxing's greatest upsets.

"Manny is one of the greats and Jeff Horn is in a different league," Pacquiao's Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune told reporters.

"If Manny puts his mind to it he destroys anybody in the world. Jeff Horn is the guy to knock out and we're in the hurt business."

Pacquiao regained the welterweight world title belt he lost to Mayweather when he knocked Jessie Vargas down in the second round and cruised to a unanimous decision in November.

The 38-year-old will be making his first defence against Horn (16-0-1) after a big-money fight with British boxer Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates fell through earlier this year.

"In all my years of boxing, I have never been as motivated and fired up as this fight," he said.

"My team is very happy with my preparation. I am looking forward to this and I will be going home as world champion."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Manny wants to grab Floyd rematch by the Horn KO'. Print Edition | Subscribe