World champ Lomachenko eyed as Jeff Horn sparring partner ahead of Pacquiao fight
Vasyl Lomachenko is coming off a ninth-round TKO win over Jason Sosa last Sunday that enabled the Ukrainian to retain his WBO junior lightweight title. AP

THE camp of Australian welterweight Jeff Horn is leaving no stone unturned in its preparation for the former schoolteacher’s title fight against world 147-pound king Manny Pacquiao on Juy 2 at the Suncorp Arena in Brisbane.

Reports from Down Under bared trainer Glenn Rushton is eyeing Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion Vasyl Lomachenko to be his ward’s main sparring partner to approximate the sizzling speed and ferocious firepower of the Filipino ring icon.

Horn’s promoter Duco Events is also talking to world-ranked welterweight Errol Spence to help prepare Horn for the biggest fight in Australian boxing history.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, whose government is helping finance Pacquiao’s $10 million purse, declared that “up to 55,000 boxing fans from across Australia and the world are expected to fill Suncorp Stadium to see the local teacher taking on one of the biggest names in boxing history, on his home turf."

“The match is a highlight on the state’s major events calendar,” Palaszczuk said as quoted by Courier Mail’s Grantlee Kieza.

Like Pacquiao, "Lomachenko and Spence are left-handers presenting a whole different attack to right-handed (orthodox) boxers such as Horn,” Rushton said.

Lomachenko is coming off a ninth-round TKO win over Jason Sosa last Sunday that enabled the Ukrainian to retain his WBO junior lightweight title.

 “I would dearly love to get Lomachenko to work with Jeff because like Pacquiao, he is so fast and razor-sharp,” said Rushton, who has a stable of stars training at the gym of his Stretton mansion.

“Pacquiao boxes with an intensity unlike most fighters but Lomachenko is a ring genius. I want guys who are lighter than Jeff (67kg) as sparring partners so they can simulate the same sort of speed and movement that has made Pacquiao such a star.

“Lomachenko would be much more suitable to prepare for Pacquiao than Errol Spence who is more of a power-puncher,” Horn’s trainer assessed.  

Horn disclosed that he will resume hard training next week. He actually started preparation even before the first aborted showdown with the eight-division world champion originally set on April 23 was announced.

“I’ll now be training four-five hours a day plus doing video work, watching Pacquiao’s recent fights, “ he said.

“It will be the hardest training of my life because of the calibre of Manny and the importance of this fight but I believe in my trainer and he believes in me and I’m going into the ring at Suncorp to take Pacquiao’s world title.” 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph