End of Pacquiao reign is here, Horn claims
Has schoolteacher Jeff Horn made efforts to correct and improve his predictable shielding stance in time for his July 2 challenge to WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao?
It may never be known until the day of the championship if Horn and his imaginative trainer, Glenn Rushton, have found time to work on adjustments to what had been viewed as a robotic style of defense.
Of course, Team Horn continued to make astounding claims on how to upset Pacquiao, to the point that hometown Pacquiao fans have started to wonder if their idol could prevail trouble-free over his unbeaten Australian challenger.
There has been no significant change in the odds for the Battle of Brisbane, heavily stacked against the younger and taller Horn. But, if it’s any sign of how his countrymen believe in Horn’s chances, tickets to the championship have almost been sold out, according to veteran promoter Bob Arum.
In fact, the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane has reportedly requested additional seats—6,000 more—to the capacity 52,000 main venue.
“Can he? Kaya ba ni Manny?” anxious fish vendors in the Mandaluyong City wet market have started to ask. These fight fans had given Horn no chance at all against Pacquiao over two months back.
For his part, the best that Pacquiao would claim was that he would stay very focused—no distractions, only limited engagements with the media, no holidaying.
So far, there has been no response to claims that Horn would try to get Pacquiao with a big surprise shot.
Trainer Freddie Roach said they would not take Horn lightly, adding Pacquiao would go for a resounding knockout.
Meanwhile, one report on the eve of Pacquiao’s departure for Brisbane quoted Horn as saying he wanted Pacquiao to enjoy his few days as a champion as the title would change hands on July 2.
“I believe this is the start of a new era in boxing and a changing of the guard,” Horn was quoted by Brian Rodrigues of the International Business Times as stating.
“He (Pacquiao) is getting a bit older and I am still young,” Horn continued. “I am ready to take a shot and I am ready to take it off.”
That’s as harsh as saying Pacquiao’s days are numbered. It’s doubtful though if Pacquiao would reply once he touches down in Brisbane.
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