Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao arrived in Australia ahead of his title fight with Jeff Horn and declared: “I will be going home as world champion.”
The “Pac Man” touched down in Brisbane late Saturday from Manila with a huge entourage for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title clash at the Suncorp Stadium next weekend.
“In all my years of boxing, I have never been as motivated and fired up as this fight,” he told reporters at the airport.
“My team is very happy with my preparation. I am looking forward to this and I will be going home as world champion.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) is a clear favourite against Horn, although the Filipino great has not stopped an opponent since his 12th round TKO of Miguel Cotto in 2009.
The eight division world champion said he is using the bout as an opportunity to prove he remains a force to reckon with at the age of 38 managing his time as a pro-boxer and a full-time Senator in the Philippines.
Pacquiao, who briefly retired early last year before making a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas in November, will still need to be on his toes however against the unbeaten Horn, who has won 16 of his 17 fights with only one draw.
A relatively unknown physical education teacher, the 29-year-old Australian has been dubbed the “fighting schoolteacher” by promoters, who say the 50,000-seat Suncorp Stadium is almost sold out.
On the other hand, Horn has a 10-point plan to upset legendary Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao in their World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight, his trainer said Monday.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) is one of the greats of his generation and a strong favourite to overcome the unbeaten Horn at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
But trainer Glenn Rushton said he has watched hours of the “Pac Man’s” previous fights and is confident of having the blueprint to cause a major upset.
“I have no doubt this is going to be a much better fight than we’ve seen against (Floyd) Mayweather, even (Jessie) Vargas and (Timothy) Bradley,” Rushton told reporters.
“I think we’ve eliminated all of the problems that a lot of these fighters have had.
“I’ve got a 10-point plan and Jeff is the only person who has that 10-point plan. I said to him, follow the plan and we win the fight, simple as that.”
Former schoolteacher Horn, 29, who has won 16 of his 17 bouts with one draw, said he has been going over Rushton’s plans and knew them almost off by heart.
“It’s a plan I’ve heard him speak to me about 1,000 times. It’s perfectly worded,” he said.
“Reading over it is just like listening to him talk to me in the ring. What he’s written down is spot on and I can get the job done if I follow it 100 percent.
“He only sent it to me on the weekend and just said to read it over a few times and make sure I’ve got it clarified, what I need to do.”