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Pacquiao says he won’t take Horn lightly

Homework. Jeff Horn’s trainer says Pacquiao’s loss against Mayweather was one of the fights they studied in coming up with a plan to beat the Filipino. (SunStar File)

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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