Relaxed and resting
BRISBANE—No one in Team Pacquiao is buying fully into Jeff Horn’s weight problems. But even with the possibility that the weight issue is a ploy to lull Manny Pacquiao into complacency, there’s no need for the eight-division champion to push himself any harder.
While Horn reportedly still has some scrambling to do before Saturday’s official weigh-in for their “Battle of Brisbane” at Suncorp Stadium Sunday, Pacquiao can now rest and take things easy.
“All he (Pacquiao) needs to do now is eat and rest,” said assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez in Filipino. “At this point nothing could be done that would matter in the ring.”
Chief trainer Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune want Pacquiao to bulk up to 146.5 pounds for the weigh-in by eating in intervals.
Pacquiao’s Australian challenger, though, faces the grim prospect of not making weight.
According to local reports, Horn woke up at a heavy 69.9 kilos (153.8 lb) on Friday, still 6.8 lb away from the 147-lb limit.
The Inquirer had earlier reported that Horn weighed 70.3 kg (154.7 lb) Thursday, which means that the 29-year-old was only able to shed less than a pound overnight.
It’s for this reason that Horn is now being forced to starve himself. He has only taken sips of water since Thursday and will only eat salad Friday night.
To compound matters, Horn will have to spend some more rounds at the gym in sweat suits in a frantic effort to meet the welterweight cutoff.
While acknowledging Horn’s built-in edge in height (three inches) and walking weight (around eight lb), Pacquiao said he isn’t worried about Horn’s power.
Horn has been rehearsing the overhead right counter Juan Manuel Marquez unleashed to knock a charging Pacquiao out cold in the sixth round in 2012.
Glenn Rushton, Horn’s millionaire trainer, believes the impact of that brutal knockout remains in Pacquiao’s memory, thus his seeming reluctance to pour it all even when an opponent is in serious trouble.
That’s why, apart from an elaborate 10-point plan specifically drafted for Pacquiao, they’ve made the right counter one of the focal points of Horn’s offensive arsenal for the fight.