Manny Pac­quiao

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The Filipino boxer faces un­her­alded Australian chal­lenger Jeff Horn in to­mor­row’s world wel­ter­weight ti­tle fight at Bris­bane in pursuit of a dream re­match with Floyd May­weather Jr.

‘Short and sweet’

Pac­quiao’s camp says they are an­tic­i­pat­ing a “short and sweet” win over the un­beaten Horn, a for­mer school­teacher and 2012 Australian Olympian, be­fore an ex­pected 50,000 crowd at Sun­corp Sta­dium. The eight-weight cham­pion, 38, is a favourite to im­prove on his ca­reer record of 59 wins, six losses and two draws at the ex­pense of Horn (16-0-1).

May­weather re­match

It is re­veal­ing that the Pac­quiao camp has al­ready spo­ken of set­ting up an­other show­down with the un­beaten May­weather, who out­pointed “Pac-Man” in the “Fight of the Cen­tury” two years ago. “We’re chas­ing a re­match with Floyd May­weather and we know he has to score a spec­tac­u­lar knock­out win over Jeff Horn if that’s go­ing to hap­pen,” Pac­quiao’s trainer Fred­die Roach said.

Look­ing for a ‘big knock­out’

Pac­quiao (38 KOs) has not stopped an op­po­nent since an 12th-round stop­page of Miguel Cotto in 2009, and Roach said he wants Horn to be Pac­quaio’s 39th vic­tim. “I’m look­ing for a big win in Bris­bane so we can go on to big­ger and bet­ter things,” he said. “I’ve been look­ing for a big knock­out from him for a long time now and I think you’re go­ing to see it in this fight.”

First ti­tle de­fence

Pac­quiao, also a se­na­tor in the Philip­pines, re­gained the WBO wel­ter­weight ti­tle belt he lost to May­weather when he knocked Jessie Var­gas down in the sec­ond round and cruised to a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in Novem­ber. He will be mak­ing his first de­fence against Horn af­ter a big-money fight with Bri­tish boxer Amir Khan in the UAE fell through this year.

‘Big­gest moun­tain’

Horn stands to make huge money – re­ported at seven fig­ures, eas­ily the big­gest of his ca­reer – if he can in­flict only Pac­quiao’s sev­enth de­feat in­side the ring. “Even though Pac­quiao is the smaller man he’s the big­gest moun­tain I’ve had to climb,” Horn said.

Ter­tius Pickard / AFP

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