Pacquiao’s title on the line vs Horn in ‘Battle of Brisbane’

first_imgBoxers Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, second left, and Jeff Horn of Australia, second right, pose for a photo in Brisbane, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Pacquiao, is putting his WBO belt on the line Sunday, July 2, against the 29-year-old Horn. AP FILE PHOTOBRISBANE, Australia— Manny Pacquiao has ducked and weaved, has been accused of being late and rude, and of thinking more about a Floyd Mayweather rematch than his WBO welterweight world title defense against Jeff Horn.After week of fine-tuning in Australia, Pacquiao and Horn easily made weight at the Saturday morning weigh-in. The Filipino senator did a quick TV interview before making a swift exit to eat.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Pacquiao, Horn make weight for fightLocals have grumbled that Pacquiao only attended a formal pre-fight function for a few minutes on Friday, and Horn’s camp accused Pacquiao earlier in the week of being late for the official news conference and then constantly texting on his cell phone through the event.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWhat nobody can complain about is the pulling power of the 11-time world champion. More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the outdoor bout on Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium, and the so-called “Battle of Brisbane” is expected to set records for pay-per-view in Australia.For the first time since 2005, a Pacquiao fight hasn’t been restricted to pay-per-view in America. ESPN will broadcast the fight to an estimated 95 million U.S. homes in prime time Saturday night. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pacquiao, Horn make weight for ‘Battle of Brisbane’7K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Pacquiao hasn’t won by knockout since 2009, but Roach said the 38-year-old eight-division champ has knocked down sparring partners and is in vintage form.“Freddie is very happy because that snap is back, the power is there,” Pacquiao said in an interview with ESPN after the weigh-in. “I feel good. Weight is not a problem. Let’s get it on.”Roach believes Pacquiao’s boxing future depends on how the fight goes against Horn. If he were to lose, Roach said he’d likely recommend retirement. A comfortable win would add ammunition for a rematch with Mayweather.Pacquiao has more than a decade of experience in this environment, and said he likes to take on a boxer who has hometown advantage because he enjoys the extra buzz. Horn (16-0-1, 11 knockouts) is unbeaten in his 17 fights since turning pro in 2013, but has never confronted anyone of Pacquiao’s caliber.Experience, “is my advantage,” Pacquiao said. “But I want to make sure that I … use it properly and maximize it.”Pacquiao tipped the scales at 66.1 kilograms (146 pounds) on Saturday, and Horn weighed in at 63.35 kilograms (147 pounds) after shedding 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) in recent days.Horn, a former school teacher and Olympic quarterfinalist before turning pro, said he had the reach and weight advantages over Pacquiao, and had the range of punches that could cause the Filipino great some trouble.During the week, he has talked about being disrespected amid talk of another Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, and said he had the weapons to knock out Pacquiao.“Game face is on. School is out,” Horn said. “I just keep that in my mind, what I’m going to have to do in the ring, which will upset Manny.”RELATED VIDEO MOST READ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Paul George heading to Thunder, Griffin stays with Clippers – reports “This is the time that I give back to the fans,” Pacquiao said, adding that he’d suggested “let’s do free TV for the fans,” to Top Rank promotor Bob Arum.“I have to give a good show for them,” he added. “This is it. I’m excited.”Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) is defending the WBO title he won on points against Jessie Vargas last November. That was one of the two fights he’s had — the other was a points win over Tim Brady in April of last year — since he lost the 2015 mega fight to Mayweather.Legendary trainer Freddie Roach has predicted a knockout against Horn, saying Pacquiao is perfectly prepared and the fight should be “short and sweet.”READ: Pacquiao out to give former school teacher Horn a boxing lessonADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES What ‘missteps’? 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