THOUGH most believe that Manny Pacquiao is in for an easy fight this weekend, the Filipino superstar and his coach Freddie Roach think differently.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in history, isn’t taking any chances against a young and hungry fighter in Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
“I consider Horn a tough opponent. I never underestimate an opponent. He’s undefeated and young. He has a big right hand. He has good amateur experience,” Pacquiao told The Courier-Mail website.
Pacquiao expects this fight to be a war, and he’s ready to trade punches with the much younger Horn in his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title defense.
“I love to brawl,’’ said Pacquiao, who was a slugger in his early days before transforming into a complete fighter. “It’s going to be a war. I’m expecting him to come inside close to me, fighting toe-to-toe and I’m ready for that. I love to fight aggressive fighters. I plan to win and a knockout is a bonus.”
Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas last November in Las Vegas. He hasn’t scored a knockout since a 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Pacquiao is 59-6-2 with 38 knockouts, while Horn is 16-0-1 with 11 knockouts.
“We are here to win the fight. We don’t take anyone lightly,” said Roach. “Horn is a little bigger and stronger, but Manny is faster and punches hard so it’s going to be a good battle.”
Meanwhile, International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1, 17 KOs) defends his belt against Japanese Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs) in the undercard.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 27, 2017.
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