BRISBANE, Australia (MindaNews / 01 July) — Defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao breezed past the weighing scale on his first try a pound lighter than his challenger at 146 pounds during the weigh in early Saturday morning for the “Battle of Brisbane.”
Australian Jeff Horn checked in at the 147-lb limit after shedding off some excess poundage and appeared to be trim and fit when he stepped into the scales.
Before a jampacked room at the Suncorp Stadium, the two faced off in business like fashion with none of the fiery statements that their trainers spewed during the presser on June 28.
Pacquiao gave Horn his signature impish smile and stare during the traditional face off but Horn preferred to look down and seemed to avoid eye contact.
The two are expected to climb the ring at past 1 p.m. here Sunday (11 a.m. in the Philippines) for the biggest boxing championship event ever to be held in the whole of Australia.
This western coast city of 2.2 million is all hyped and pumped up for the 12-round championship bout that will be held at the 56,000-seat Suncorp Stadium in downtown Brisbane.
It will be Pacquiao’s ring savvy and experience against Horn, a hometown boy – nay a teacher – who never lost a boxing match in all of his 17 fights.
Who will school who will be answered Sunday.
The long wait will be over and if Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, is to be believed, the fight should be over in three rounds.
Filipino fight fans have come in droves from the other territories of Australia including some from New Zealand and other parts of the South Pacific territories.
The Pacquiao-Horn is the biggest event to be held here outside of the rugby and football playing Aussies.
While the fight will begin most likely at high noon, the temperature is a bit cold the month of July being mid-winter in Australia.
As announced Wednesday, the fight is veritably a sold out.
Pacquiao threw away his sporting jacket, pair of shoes and T-shirt as shoot as he undressed to tip the scales.
One lucky lady photographer got his Under Armor shoes. (This writer got his Philippine-flag designed sporting jacket.)
Pacquiao immediately took a meal after the weigh in and drove to the hotel where he is expected to sequester himself for the whole afternoon. (Edwin G. Espejo / contributor)