BRISBANE, Australia (MindaNews / 28 June) – Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao declined to predict the outcome of his championship fight but promised to give an entertaining fight against hometown favorite Jeff Horn when they collide Sunday noon here.
In a conference in the press room of the Suncorp Stadium used for soccer, cricket and rugby, Pacquiao said it never was his habit of predicting the results of his fight but admitted he once told the press he dreamt of losing to Timothy Bradley during the first of their three fights.
Bad for Australian teacher Horn, however.
Pacquiao told the press he did not dream or see himself losing again.
He is coming into the fight a heavy favorite against the undefeated Horn who is nine years his junior.
Pacquiao, a sitting Philippine senator from Sarangani province, is -600 in online betting, meaning a US$600 wager on Pacquiao will only win $100.
A US$100 bet on Horn, on the other hand, will win US$400.
Horn, who boldly said it would be his hands that will be raised after the fight, only took up boxing during the last four years, going up 16-0-1 with 11 of his wins coming via stoppage.
He is ranked No. 12 by boxing site www.boxrec.com. However, Horn has not fought outside of his country and New Zealand.
Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton was more daring in his forecast. He said Horn would win by knockout in the latter rounds.
That did not sit well with the eminent Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach who said it will the boxers who will determine the outcome of the fight.
Nevertheless, the Hall of Fame trainer said it could end inside three rounds if Horn engages his ward in an all out war of attrition.
“Maybe, he (Horn) will not come out in three rounds,” Roach said.
Pacquiao has not knocked out an opponent since stopping Miguel Cotto in the 11th round on November 14, 2009.
He also lost three of his six losses during that span.
The WBO welterweight champion is 59-6-2 with 38 wins via knockout.
Roach, however, explains that Pacquiao feels he does not have to hurt people in order to win because of his new Christian faith.
It is a tacit admission that the Filipino boxing champion has considerably reduced his punching volume over the last three or four years.
Pacquiao will be the biggest name Horn will ever face.
And he will be up against the World Boxing Organization reigning and defending champion who has won eight different titles in as many weight categories.
And before his hometown, Horn will be on the other side of the corner for the biggest boxing event ever in Australia.
As of press time, only 9,000 seats remain unsold at the 56,000-seat stadium that has a retractable roof. (Edwin G. Espejo, contributor)