Yes, Pacquiao is taking Jeff Horn seriously
Manny Pacquiao said he would first review the past three fights of Jeff Horn, whom he had heard of for the first time. This was before Pacquiao started training for his July 2 fight with the unbeaten but obscure Australian hope.
It was unclear if Pacquiao found time to watch the Horn fight tapes; and what he saw, if he ever found time to view them.
For his part, Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach would declare flatly that Horn would be a [mere] tune-up for Pacquiao.
Naturally, the whole of Australia became quite anxious, mainly after suspicion rose that Pacquiao was not taking Horn (16-0-1) seriously.
Australian sportswriters, readily dispatched to Manila to interview Pacquiao, ended up frustrated in their first frantic try to corner Pacquiao in the morning.
Wrote Andrew Webster of the Sydney Morning Herald: “Each time, he failed to appear as promised, as directed, as scheduled.”
The posse of Australian reporters also started to wonder “if this was all by design.”
Fortunately, the visiting reporters caught up with Pacquiao at the training gym that afternoon.
They were one in saying they found Pacquiao both humble and charming.
Still, they failed to pin down Pacquiao on how he finds Horn, an awful 9-1 underdog down in Australia.
While Horn has been very open about training doubly hard to put on more power, to the point of hiring a special Korean mentor, there has been nothing much on the overall preparation.
It would become clear Horn’s main focus would be to stop Pacquiao—the earlier, the better—in their world welterweight championship bout.
Pacquiao, the Australian group noted, last scored a stoppage in 2009, against Miguel Cotto. However, there was nothing clear on whether Pacquiao was trying to enhance his once-fabled punching power.
The most significant factor noted was Pacquiao’s rigid gym regimen, which the visitors found truly grueling.
Andrew Webster said Pacquiao readily dismissed talks about him taking Horn lightly. Pacquiao was quoted as saying he wanted to focus on speed and agility.
“Quick and strong legs, strong body,” Pacquiao told Webster.
That’s how he hopes to beat Horn, the visiting Australian writer said.
The Australians had seen nothing yet. Pacquiao is scheduled to ramp up training next week.
"Visit Inquirer Sports' The Pacquiao Files (www.inquirer.net/pacquiao-files) for news, features, and other multimedia content about Manny Pacquiao and his upcoming fights."
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.