Top Rank Promotion boss Bob Arum said reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao should not take Australian challenger Jeff Horn lightly in their upcoming July 2 fight at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao has just joined Arum in a promotional tour that will visit Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia this week.
“Manny (Pacquiao) is going to be a fool if he’ll take Jeff Horn lightly,” Arum told The Manila Times in an overseas call on Tuesday. “Horn has a chance of beating Manny. Horn is a strong big kid and he is also a skilled fighter although not the same as Manny.”
“He (Horn) will be pumped up by the huge crowd behind him.”
Arum added that as expected, Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach will make sure the eight-division world champion is up to the challenge. After the Australian promotional tour, Pacquiao will start his light training in Manila with Roach expected to arrive in May.
Arum said he is not expecting a knockout victory from either Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) or Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts).
“I don’t know if there is going to be a knockout. I think Horn is going to be pretty tough for Manny to knockout because Horn has a pretty good chin and you know he is a resilient guy. I think Manny maybe is too quick for Horn to land a solid punch, so I look for this fight to end in decision.”
Arum said the fight would be definitely “high-definition exciting” for all boxing fans.
Horn is reportedly studying techniques on how to outwit Pacquiao among them is a familiar technique mimicking Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez’s knockout punch that knocked out the Filipino champ cold five years ago.
JOSEF T. RAMOS