• Pacquiao camp flies to Australia today

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    Manny Pacquaio works the mitts with coach Freddie Roach at the Elorde Boxing Gym near the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on June 3.
    PHOTO BY RUSSELL DAVID

    Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and his entourage depart for Brisbane, Australia today to defend his title against Jeff Horn on July 2 at the Suncorp Stadium.

    Pacquiao’s media relation head Aquiles Zonio told The Manila Times that Team Pacquiao has boarded a 350-seat customized Air Asia Airbus jet at General Santos for a seven-hour flight to Brisbane, Australia.

    “By noon tomorrow (Saturday), around 11:30 in the morning, we’ll be departing from General Santos via Air Asia Jet with around 200 people,” said Aquiles.

    Pacquiao is carrying a 59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts, while the 29-year-old Horn has 16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts.

    This is not the first time that Team Pacquiao boarded an Air Asia chartered plane for his fight. The last time was in November 2014 when he fought and defeated American Chris Algieri via unanimous decision in Macau, China.

    Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum is set to leave the United States on Saturday morning and is expected to arrive in Brisbane Sunday night.

    Pacquiao has finished a combined 32 rounds of sparring and mitts sessions since hitting the gym last May 6 in Manila.

    “I feel it. Pacquiao’s is peaking up and he’s now on a different level. When we sparred in Manila, I already felt his power, but today he is more powerful,” said Pacquiao’s Filipino sparring partner Sonny Katiandagho.

    Pacquiao moved his training camp to General Santos early this month.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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