Australian challenger Jeff Horn has made a massive blunder by not training against superior sparring partners in the United States in preparation for Sunday’s title fight, Manny Pacquiao’s team says.
The legendary 38-year-old Filipino, one of the greatest fighters of his generation, is widely tipped to overcome the unbeaten Horn in front of an expected 50,000 people at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Pacquiao’s Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune said Thursday the ‘Fighting Schoolteacher’ hasn’t done his homework and will be outclassed by the master eight-weight world champion.
People talk about Pacquiao like he's Cotto, some sort of legacy fighter. But Pacquiao waxed Bradley and Vargas last year. Still impressive.— adam abramowitz (@snboxing) June 25, 2017
“Manny is one of the greats and Jeff Horn is in a different league,” former heavyweight Fortune told reporters.
“If Manny puts his mind to it he destroys anybody in the world. He’s busted up some of the greats. Jeff Horn is the guy to knock out and we’re in the hurt business.”
Fortune, who once fought against Lennox Lewis, said Horn should have spent eight weeks in America against the best available sparring partners.
“Then you might have given him a real shot if he’d been training with A-grade guys all the time,” he said.
“Instead he’s been using (Filipino) Czar Amonsot as a sparring partner and he is nowhere near as fast as Manny.
“Horn won’t know what hit him because Manny is that quick.”
Fortune said he gave Horn no chance of causing a major boilover against the warrior known as ‘Pac Man’.
“People say ‘well, Manny hasn’t knocked anyone out in years’ but these are AAA guys, with pro-level experience, current or former world champions,” Fortune said.
“This guy (Horn) has nowhere near the experience at all. He hasn’t walked out in front of 50,000 people, ever.
“Nerves take a lot out of you when you fight. It’s actually terrible, there’s nothing you can do about it, happens to all of us.
“Manny’s done it, he’s used to it, it’s no big deal. Jeff’s not. I don’t think they’ve realised that.”
Horn defended his training strategy, saying he was more than happy using Amonsot, who is ranked number three with the World Boxing Association at junior welterweight (140lb, 63kg).
“It’s very hard for anyone to copy the style of Pacquiao but we got the closest thing out there that we could,” Horn said.
“I’ve definitely sparred the best I ever have for this preparation and I’m really happy with the rounds Czar gave me.”
Horn said while Pacquiao might be faster than him, he had an awkward style that the Filipino has not faced before.
“My style will give him problems and it’s a matter of timing him so that I can make him miss and land my hard shots,” he said.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) is one of the greats, while Horn, 29, has won 16 of his 17 bouts with one draw.
Pacquiao, who briefly retired last year before making a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, has not stopped an opponent since his 12th round TKO of Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Trainer Freddie Roach has suggested Sunday’s fight is a stepping stone for Pacquiao to secure a rematch with American rival Floyd Mayweather, who outpointed the Filipino in the “Fight of the Century” two years ago.
Provided by AFP Sport
Gennady Golovkin has revealed his fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could be his last if their rivalry does not develop into a series.
Their WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight unification match-up at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on September 16 has long represented the most enticing head-to-head for the boxing purist.
Victory would also prove each man’s finest hour in the ring, and could even be the 35-year-old Golovkin’s last a fighter.
Should the Kazahkstani win, he will have established himself as one of the finest middleweights in history and, at a time when observers believe he is showing signs of decline, he could choose to call it a day.
“Maybe after this fight, I’m finished,” said Golovkin, whose retirement would deny Britain’s WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders a potential high-earning fight. “Maybe not. I feel very good.
“Okay I’m 35 but I feel like I’m 25. But this is boxing, not soccer, it’s not a game, this is a fight and every fight is very difficult.”
Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya expects such a competitive and entertaining affair that he has already spoken of the potential for a trilogy, though, and that is also on Golovkin’s radar.
“I’m ready, I want (a trilogy),” he said. “I believe it’s possible. It’s very interesting for me as we have a situation to (have a) rematch, maybe two or three fights.
“Now (after going the 12-round distance for the first time against Daniel Jacobs in March), I know I can do it. Before, they asked questions.”
The undefeated Golovkin’s aggression and ability, which has ensured 33 stoppage victories from his 37 fights and that he has fought for 12 rounds only once, has built his popularity in Mexico.
In 26-year-old Alvarez he is facing their most-loved active fighter, but, asked if he is risking his own popularity there, he responded: “I don’t know, seriously, I remember my fight with Kell (Brook, in London ), I come to the ring, ‘Boo’. Couple of rounds (later), ‘Okay, applause’.
“For me it doesn’t matter, American guy, Mexican guy… I love sport. We go to the ring for boxing, it’s sport for us, not political. Not ‘I kill you because you’re Mexican’. No, this is crazy.
“I know Mexican people, the same like UK people; everybody understands boxing, everybody loves boxing.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Gennady Golovkin dismissed the threat of his superfight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez being overshadowed by Floyd Mayweather’s with Connor McGregor because there is an awareness the latter is a “circus”.
Mayweather-McGregor was last week confirmed for Las Vegas on August 26, in the same city and just three weeks before the WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight unification fight between Golovkin and Alvarez.
The match-up made for September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena has long perhaps been the world’s most enticing, while the reality remains that Mayweather-McGregor is likely to be little more than a cynical one driven by greed.
There is a risk that what is expected to be both such a one-sided and expensive affair will undermine boxing’s appeal so close to another equally likely to be so exciting, but Kazakhstan’s Golovkin said: “People understand, a true fight, a boxing fight – mine and Canelo’s – or a big show.
“Maybe a funny show, or circus show: everybody knows. Connor, he’s not a boxer, just a show. If you want a show please watch (that). If you want to watch a true fight, a boxing fight, watch my fight.
“This is business. Connor with Floyd is not a boxing fight: everybody’s saying Connor’s not a boxer. Money fight? Okay. Show fight? Okay.”
Speculation persists that the August 26 fight between Miguel Cotto and Yoshihiro Kamegai in California could be rescheduled to avoid a clash with Mayweather-McGregor. Oscar De La Hoya is both Cotto’s promoter and the co-promoter of Alvarez-Golovkin, and he said: “September 16 has always been the best date for a boxing event.
“We’d have to go back to the Julio Cesar Chavez days when September 16 has been important to the fight community. On September 16 we will see the real fight.
“We will have a sold-out arena, we will do tremendous business on pay-per-view, and most importantly we will get a tremendous fight, which is very important for me personally, because I love this sport dearly.”
Mexico’s Alvarez, at 26 nine years younger than Golovkin, refused to comment on the fight between Mayweather and McGregor, before revealing he did not recognise overweight WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.
The 27-year-old Saunders is scheduled to defend his title earlier on September 16 at London’s Copper Box Arena; Canadian mandatory challenger David Lemieux could this week be confirmed as his challenger if passed fit.
He interrupted the London leg of the Alvarez-Golovkin press tour to declare his interest in fighting the winner of September’s match-up, but Alvarez said: “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even recognise him.
“He’s got to come down in weight first before fighting one of us. I never really studied him: when we were talking earlier and discussing possibly fighting him, I saw maybe one or two rounds but I’ve never really studied him or seen him.
“I can promise you this: with one hand tied behind my back and my eyes closed, I’ll be able to beat him.”