MANNY Pacquiao sees relatively unknown Jeff Horn working his way to boxing prominence, but the eight-division champion vowed it will not be at his expense.
The Filipino boxing icon said Horn’s situation as second choice opponent is quite similar to his time when he was given a chance to fight on the big stage in Las Vegas decades ago, and he is glad for the former school teacher.
“That actually, was what happened to me, di ba? Nang out of nowhere eh napili ako na lumaban kay (Lehlo) Ledwaba … After that fight which I won by TKO, nagtuloy-tuloy na suwerte ko,” Pacquiao said in an overseas telephone interview.
“Ganyan talaga ang boxing o kahit anumang bagay sa buhay, kapag binigyan ka ng pagkakataon, samantalahin mo.”
Pacquiao, however, said Horn will have to wait longer for his time to shine, vowing to stop the unbeaten Aussie when they face off in the World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight on July 2 at the 55,000-seat Suncorp Arena.
“May idadagdag lang akong baka di magustuhan ni Horn, wala sa plano kong magpatalo sa labang ito,” he said with a chuckle.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao, 11-time champion with a 59-6-2 record, urged Brisbane’s Horn, who holds a 16-0-1 record, to train harder to be able to give fans a good fight.
“Kaya nga sabi ko, mag-train siyang mabuti para maging maganda ang laban namin,” he said.
Pacquiao will be in Brisbane until Wednesday when he and his challenger meet for the first time in a press conference to promote their title encounter. The press tour will also have stops in Sydney and Melbourne.