World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has not scored a knockout win since 2009 and assistant trainer Nonoy Neri said the eight-year KO drought could end this July 2 as Pacman takes on Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia.
Neri, one of the long time assistants of head coach Freddie Roach said that the eight-division world champion has a full advantage over Horn (16-0-1 win-loss-draw record with 11 knockouts) especially in terms of experience and skills.
“I think Manny (Pacquiao) will knock that guy out not higher than round six. Horn is very aggressive and likes to attack. I’m sure he’ll get hit and he’s not that durable,” Neri told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “But we can’t be complacent.”
The last time the 38-year-old Pacquiao won by a knockout was in 2009 against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.
“Horn’s lack of experience will be Manny’s advantage. At the same time, Horn is very willing to impress his countrymen that’s why he’ll go all out and try to knock him out,” added Neri. “But Manny has a wide advantage in terms of speed, stamina, intelligence and power over Horn.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2 record with 38 knockouts) has already started his light training and conditioning in Pasay City despite his hectic schedule as a senator.
Neri also learned that Horn started training for the fight early, a proof that the Australian is keen of pulling off an upset in front of his countrymen.
“It only means that he really wanted to win the fight,” said Neri. “On the part of Manny, he is always fit and in good condition due to basketball and he jogs every morning.”
Nine of Pacquiao’s last 12 fights since 2009 were all won by unanimous decision. His three losses came from Timothy Bradley in 2012 via split decision, Juan Manuel Marquez also in 2012 via knockout in round six and Floyd Mayweather Jr. via unanimous decision in 2015.
Pacquiao’s last victory over Jessie Vargas last November in Las Vegas, Nevada was also via unanimous decision.
Horn, 29, on the other hand, scored a technical knockout victory over South African foe Ali Funeka last December 10 in New Zealand.