By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) |
Jeff Horn prior to his media workout. ABAC CORDERO
BRISBANE, Australia – At his training headquarters, in a boxing gym tucked inside the palatial home of his trainer and manager, Jeff Horn showed that he’s ready for the fight of his life.
On Sunday, before an expected live audience of 55,000, the newest pride of Brisbane faces Manny Pacquiao, the global boxing superstar and reigning WBO welterweight champion.
Horn arrived a little past noon Monday at the mansion of Glenn Rushton, an investment adviser and multi-millionaire who also dabbles as a boxing trainer and manager.
The unbeaten challenger faced members of the press, fielded questions in front of the cameras, and then showed off some of his boxing skills in a brief workout.
The first question thrown at him went like, “Are you nervous?”
“No. Fortunately, I’m not,” he said.
Horn, a former schoolteacher and veteran of the 2012 London Olympics, said he and Rushton have all they could do in training for him not to get nervous.
“The prep is basically finished now. I’m just sharpening the tools and making sure I don’t over-train.
“I think we can get the job done,” he said.
For the coming fight, Horn will receive a paycheck that would make his previous ones look like peanuts, but said it’s more than the money.
“If I become world champion on Sunday it will fulfill all my dreams and I will become a happy man,” said Horn, a young and decent fighter out to make it big.
Horn is eyeing a knockout win similar to the one scored by Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez over Pacquiao five years ago.
“The Juan Manuel Marquez bout is probably our main point. It’s something that we looked at a lot and to land the same big overhand right that Marquez landed is definitely what we’ll be looking for,” he said.
Of course, it’s easier said than done.
After speaking to reporters, Horn skipped ropes, climbed the ring, shadow-boxed and hit the mitts with his trainer, who looked more like a rock star than an investment guru.
They tried to impress those who were watching from outside the ring, where close to 20 trophies are displayed. On the wall are fight posters of Pacquiao’s recent fights.