Boxing: Manny Pacquaio is a heavy favourite to down Jeff Horn in their July-fight at Suncorp Stadium, but even if the Filipino suffers a shock loss, he isn’t contemplating retirement.
TWO machine guns blazing away at close range is the way Manny Pacquiao sees his Battle of Brisbane against Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium on July 2.
All around the Elorde Gym in Manila this week, the rat-a-tat-tat of Pacquiao’s blistering punches could have been the soundtrack for a war movie.
The world welterweight champ said he was still only 60 per cent fit and that the hard work begins on Monday after his American trainer Freddie Roach and Australian conditioning coach Justin Fortune arrive in the Philippines capital six weeks before the fight.
Pacquiao and Horn are both working on explosive speed for close combat.
Pacquiao finishes every workout drowning in sweat, but drinks six litres of water a day. He has to visit the bathroom every 30 minutes and so frequent, in fact, are his toilet breaks that he has taken to keeping a bucket beside his bed in his mansion in Manila.
His old friend and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, who once slept under Pacquiao’s bed when they were both dirt poor, took the brunt of the champ’s fury this week. Several times Buboy, 42, cried out in pain as Pacquiao’s power shots detonated on the trainer’s lightly gloved hands.
Pacquiao signalled his fight plan for Horn at the start of almost every round of training this week, charging from the corner at the bell and throwing lightning bursts of punches. He plans to shock Horn at the start of every round.
“Jeff Horn is taller than me (175cm to 168cm) and has a longer reach,’’ he said. “They are big advantages. If he knows how to use them he can make things tough. But if he does not know how to use those advantages, they will be useless for him.’’
Meanwhile in Stretton in Brisbane, Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton are working on perfecting their technique.
“I’m training to beat Manny at his own game on July 2,’’ Horn said.
“I plan to hit Manny as fast and as hard as he has been hitting everyone else for years.”
Originally published as Pacquiao fires warning shots