Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn meet for first time to promote July 2 fight in Australia
Manny Pacquiao talks to Mahindra coach Chris Gavina during the game against San Miguel on Wednesday night. Jaime Campos

MANNY Pacquiao will be leaving for Australia this weekend and attend the formal press conference launching his July 2 fight against challenger Jeff Horn in Brisbane.

The press launch is set Wednesday (Australian time) at the Suncorp Stadium and will be the first time Pacquiao and Horn are going to meet personally.

Accompanied by a small entourage that includes wife Jinkee and assistant trainer Haplas Fernandez, the 38-year-old boxing superstar leaves for Down Under on Sunday.

“Saglit lang sila doon, mainly to promote the fight and attend some media events there,” said Mahindra assistant team manager Jo Ramos on Wednesday.

By the time the Filipino senator returns to the country, he’ll already start training at the Elorde gym in Pasay City.

“Tumatakbo-takbo na siya two weeks ago para makundisyon na,” Ramos added.

[See Pacquiao leaves without talking to Mahindra players inside dugout after blowout loss]

Pacquiao called the shots for Mahindra in its PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against San Miguel at theAstrodome, although his presence hardly changed the fortunes of the Floodbusters who tumbled to their sixth loss in seven games after a 109-80 rout by the Beermen.

The only fighter to win eight world  division titles left the Astrodome in a huff and no longer went to the Mahindra dugout as he had to go straight to the birthday celebration of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada at the Manila Hotel.

But by merely showing up, the Floodbuster appreciated the gesture very much.

“Ibang klase na nandoon si Boss, although medyo talo nga lang tayo,” said Gary David, adding Pacquiao gave some encouraging words to the team prior to the San Miguel game. 

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