Horn declares he can beat Pacquiao

Jeff Horn has his sights set on beating Manny Pacquiao twice this year – firstly in the dubbed Battle Of Brisbane on July 2 and then in the rematch he’ll grant the Filipino should he win the superstar’s WBO welterweight title.
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If the unbeaten Brisbane boxer springs a monumental upset against the winner of 11 world titles, Pacquiao is expected to activate a clause in his fight contract that would grant him a shot at winning his title back – a bout likely to take place in November, also in Brisbane.

About 55,000 fans are expected to pack into Suncorp Stadium on July 2 to witness one of the biggest fights in n history, and Horn’s home state Queensland also has first crack at hosting any potential rematch which could mean a second bonanza for the multi-sport stadium.

The 29-year-old former Olympian boldly declared in Sydney on Thursday that Pacquiao would be the 17th victim of his professional career.

“I’m going to say that today, when I fight Manny Pacquiao, I believe I can win,” Horn said.

“I’ve got some advantages over Manny which people keep talking about. I’ve got my height, I’ve got the reach, I’ve got the age on my side and I’ve got the hunger as well.

“He’s been world champion multiple times. He’s shown and done it all before.

“If he takes it lightly and doesn’t train as hard as he did in his last fights it’ll probably definitely show in the ring.”

The pair are fighting for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title, a belt the Filipino has held three times already.

He’s also won world championships in seven other weight divisions, which no boxer in history has done before.

A quietly-spoken Pacquiao didn’t engage in a war of words with Horn when addressing media and promoters on Thursday, instead thanking the Lord before claiming that he’d be under pressure from the outset at Suncorp Stadium.

“It’s going to be a lot of pressure for me because I’m a champion fighting in his home town,” Pacquiao said.

“It’s going to be a good fight.

“I choose Jeff Horn because of his competence in the ring. I believe that we can create more action in the ring because of his style, he loves to fight toe-to-toe.

“He’s a decent man, that’s why I just chose to defend my title to him, giving him a chance to show his talent in boxing.”

NSW coach Laurie Daley was on hand to present Pacquiao with a Blues Origin jersey on Thursday.

World famous boxing promoter Bob Arum, the man who has worked with Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler and Floyd Mayweather among other gloved luminaries, was also in attendance and said Horn had earned his shot at Pacquiao.

“Yeah he [Horn] is an underdog … Manny has been one of the great, great fighters of our time. Manny, even at the age of 38, possesses skills that no other fighters have,” Arum said.

“In Jeff Horn, you have a young man who has the tools. If he can apply those tools and everything goes according to plan, he can not only be competitive, but he has the opportunity to pull an upset.

“That’s what boxing is all about. The sport of boxing is going global now, and people are looking at it as a major sport all over the world.”

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