Horn wants to do a Marquez
BRISBANE—Prominently posted in the center white wall of the gym where Jeff Horn trains are posters of Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Timothy Bradley, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas and Brandon Rios.
Also in the gallery is a poster of Pacquiao’s July 2 tussle with Horn, billed appropriately as “Battle of Brisbane.”
They were placed there supposedly to remind Horn of the caliber of the fighter he’s challenging for the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown in front of his countrymen at Suncorp Stadium.
They might as well serve as motivational tools for the underdog Horn, who is trying to achieve his dream of becoming a world champion.
Noticeably missing is a poster of Pacquiao’s epic fights against Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked out the eight-division world champion Filipino cold in their fourth showdown in 2012.
Perhaps, Horn’s handlers, led by trainer Glenn Rushton, intentionally omitted the poster as the fighter wants to make Marquez’s one-punch knockout of Pacquiao as their blueprint for success.
In Monday’s media workout Horn said he knows the enormity of the task at hand.
That is why, he said, he punished his well-chiseled 29-year-old frame to the extreme so he could be ready for whatever Pacquiao will bring into the ring.
According to Horn, his height (5-foot-9 against Pacquiao’s 5-6) and age (at 29, he’s 10 years the Filipino’s junior) would be his biggest advantages.
Horn told Filipino sportswriters here he weighed between 71 kilograms (156.2 pounds) and 72 kg after a long run on Monday. He plans to fight at that weight when he climbs the ring before an expected sellout crowd of 50,000 on Sunday.
Though Horn is still nine pounds over the 147-lb limit, Rushton looked unconcerned.
Rushton said it is normal for his fighter to be at this weight range days before the official weigh-in, which happens on Saturday. He said Horn would be between 70.5 and 72 kg on fight day.
Pacquiao has been installed as the heavy favorite to win, with a $100 bet on him earning just $25. But, although the same bet on Horn will net a whopping $420, the Australian is unperturbed.
Horn believes that Pacquiao’s tremendous edge in experience (Pacquiao had 50 more fights than Horn with 67) and quality of past opponents can work both ways.
The former Brisbane school teacher believes that Pacquiao, an 11-time world champion, is not at his optimum best because he’s no longer hungry for glory and money.
Horn also noted that Pacquiao hasn’t stopped any opponent since 2009, when the Filipino pulled off a 12-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto.
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