BRISBANE, Australia – Don’t blink. This could be quick and sweet.
As Freddie Roach watched Jeff Horn struggle to make weight for his title showdown with Manny Pacquiao, the veteran trainer was certain right away the challenger will be there for the taking.
Roach isn’t concealing their plan to swarm all over the local challenger early into the 12-round World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight match on Sunday, well aware Horn would be slower and sluggish on fight time 24 hours after struggling to make the weight.
“I will get on Manny and told him to work on his body as hard as you can because he has trouble with the weight,” said the 57-year-old Roach hours after the weigh-in at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
If everything goes according to plan, it could be a short stint for Horn in his first ever shot at a world title before his throng of adoring countrymen.
“I think two or three rounds,” Roach curtly replied, “because I expect him (Horn) to come out aggressively and I expect Manny to explode right away.”
The veteran trainer was on stage and watched as the young, unbeaten Australian held his breath while on top of the scale, before boxing announcer par excellence Michael Buffer announced that Horn tipped in at exactly 147.
Roach said Horn was ‘close to be over,’ adding, ‘his weight was really, really close, it was bouncing in between.’
He later saw the 29-year-old former school teacher grab a banana and an orange juice shortly after in an effort to regain the strength he lost in shedding the extra poundage.
Roach expects Horn (16-0, 11 KOs) to enter the ring at around 170.
“That won’t help,” he said of a bigger Horn coming in on fight time. “Too much weight, and I would be happy with that.”
There’s only one thing Horn, who is deadly with his right hand, can pull this one off, according to Roach.
“Anyone can get lucky in a fight,” he said. “But he’s a little bit too slow for Manny and speed will overwhelm him.”