Former school teacher promises to go in ‘hot’

Inquirer Libre - - FRONT PAGE - By Roy Luarca @rluarcaINQ

BRISBANE—Prominently posted at the center white wall of the gym where Jeff Horn trains are posters of Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Timothy Bradley, Floyd Mayweather, Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas and Brandon Rios.

Also in the gallery, fourth from left, of course, is that of Pacquiao’s July 2 tussle with Horn simply billed as “Battle of Brisbane.”

They were put there to remid Horn of the caliber of the fighter he’s challenging for the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown before his countrymen aat Southcorp Stadium.

They also serve as inspirational and motivational tools for Horn to achieve his cherished dream of becoming a world champion.

Noticeably missing was any poster of Pacquiao’s epic fights against Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked out the eight-division world champion cold in their fourth showdown in 2012.

Perhaps, the posters’ absence was intentional, as Horn, with the guidance of trainer Glenn Rushton, intends to make Marquez’s one-punch knockout as blueprint toward success against Pacquiao.

Horn said during Monday’s media workout that he knows the enormity of the task at hand.

According to Horn, he’s not nervous but rather excited days heading into the fight to be beamed live in the USA via free TV by ESPN.

Horn said he intends to “go in their hot” and give Pcquiao a really good fight.

And, hopefully land that same overhand right on Pacquiao.

That’s why he punished his well-chiseled 29-year-old body to the extreme to be ready for whatever Pacquiao will bring into the ring.

According to Horn, his size (5-foot-9 against Pacquiao’s 5-6) would be his biggest advantage.

Then comes his youth (nearly 10 years Pacquiao’s junior).

As of Monday, coming from a long run, Horn told Filipino sportswriters that he weighs be- tween 71 to 72 kilos and aims to be at that level when he climbs the ring before an expected sellout crowd of over 50,000 on Sunday.

Though Horn is still nine pounds over the 147-lb limit, Rushton hardly felt any concern.

Rushton bared it was normal for his ward to be at this weight range days before the official weigh-in on Saturday.

Fact is, Rushton said Horn would be between 70.5 to 72 kg on fight day.

Though Pacquiao has been installed as the heavy favorite even here, a $100 bet on Pacquiao earning just 25, while the same bet on Horn will net 420, Horn is unperturbed.

Horn believes Pacquiao’s tremendous edge in experience (67 fights against 17) and quality of opposition, could work both ways.

The former school teacher insists Paquiao is no longer as hungry for glory and money and money and neither is the 11time world champion at his optimum best.

The main argument being that Pacquiao hasn’t stopped any opponent after pulling off a 12-round stoppage over Miguel Cotto in 2009.


HORN gets ready.

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