MELBOURNE: Manny Pacquiao is seeking a dominant win over Australia’s Jeff Horn to try and coax Floyd Mayweather Jr into a re-match, the Filipino’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach has said.
Pacquiao, who was defeated by American Mayweather in a unanimous points decision in Las Vegas in 2015, will defend his WBO welterweight belt against former schoolteacher and rank outsider Horn in Brisbane on Sunday.
“He wants a re-match with Mayweather,” Roach told Sky News of 38-year-old Pacquiao. “To get Mayweather, you have to look good. Against Horn, he’s got to look good, he has to be impressive.”
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with an unbeaten record of 49-0, has agreed to come out of retirement for a 12-round fight against mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao has failed to win by knockout since a 12th round TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2009 but Roach said the fighter was primed to cause a stoppage against 29-year-old Horn, who is undefeated in 17 fights against mostly obscure opponents.
“[Pacquiao] doesn’t like to predict knockouts and so forth but I do,” said Roach at a media conference on Wednesday. “I think it’s going to be short and sweet. If our opponent comes out like he says he’s going to, Manny will fire back and I think it’s going to be great fight [but] it won’t last too long. And someone will get knocked out.”
The ‘Battle of Brisbane’ at Lang Park, a 55,000-seat venue used mainly for professional rugby matches, is the biggest fight in decades ‘Down Under’, throwing Pacquiao’s unheralded opponent Horn into a huge spotlight.