Pacquiao Lands in Oz
By: Matthew N. Becher
It is Manny Pacquiao fight week, and so much has changed for the once best, pound for pound fighter in the world. First he did not make his grand entrance at a ritzy hotel lobby on the Vegas strip, but instead landed in Brisbane, Australia.
Photo Credit: Top Rank
He then did not do a huge media press conference, but instead made sure to head to a local church for services. As he told the local Australian Broadcasting Corp, “This (religion) is my main priority more than anything… Sunday is a worship day”. Gone are the days of wild Manny Pacquiao, flanked by HBO cameras and fans, his small dog “Pac-Man”, completely covered in Nike apparel.
This fight will take place in front of 50,000 plus fans at the SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane and will be televised for free in America on ESPN. The first time in 12 years that Pacquiao has not fought on a premium or Pay per View channel.
Pacquiao will be defending his WBO welterweight title for the first time since winning it last November, by defeating Jessie Vargas. He will also be competing for his 60th career win as a professional.
His opponent is Australia’s own Jeff Horn. Horn has never been involved in a fight of this magnitude and will be a huge underdog against one of the best fighters of the last 20 years. Horn doesn’t seem to mind, “Where I’ve fought before has been in a small location, so the crowd seems louder than it is — kind of echoes in the room,” he said. “But to be in a stadium like Suncorp, the Cauldron, who knows. I’ve never been in a situation like that. The more pressure that’s on me for a fight, the better I perform.”
Horn has also explained that he plans on Knocking out the Congressman of the Philippines, in a similar fashion that Juan Manuel Marquez did in their final fight. As told to Fight Hype, “The Marquez knockout has definitely been probably our main point,” said Horn,”Marquez has fought Pacquiao brilliant, probably the best anyone has fought Pacquiao, so he’s someone that we have looked at a lot to land the same punch that Marquez did in the fight which is that big overhand right – that’s definitely what we’ll be looking for.”
This is all a good idea for Horn, but that was a long time ago, by a fighter that is a Hall of Famer (Marquez). Pacquiao’s long time trainer Freddy Roach, has also stated that he will be looking to end his streak of 8 years without a stoppage against Horn, ““I don’t know, he’s a tough guy from Australia,” said Roach to The Inquirer. “But that’s really up to Manny, Manny can knock him out whenever he wants in my opinion. We’re getting closer, we’re getting close [to getting a knockout win].”
This is not the biggest fight in the world at the moment, or a big fight for the titlist Manny Pacquiao. It is a chance to see how good Manny still is, and if he will continue on the path to fighting other top Welterweights or if he is truly on a worldwide retirement tour. We will find out this Saturday night what the Pride of the Philippines has left at 38 years old.
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