Pacquiao back in the gym preparing hard for July bout with Horn in Australia

Photo: Wendell Alinea / OSMP

“It’s great to be back in the gym!” Manny Pacquiao posted on his social media this week alongside photos of him looking fit and trim in the early stages of training. The Filipino superstar is set to face undefeated up and comer Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) on July 2nd (July 1st in North America) in Horn’s backyard of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in defense of his WBO welterweight title. A monstrous crowd of 50,000+ are expected to fill Suncorp Stadium, a venue that routinely plays hosts to huge soccer and rugby events in the area.

“I don’t know much about [Horn],” Pacquaio said during his recent promotional stop in Brisbane. “I know he’s a fighter. I haven’t watched his fights yet but I’m going to get his last three and watch them. My message to him is to work hard and make sure he’s 100 per cent condition on July 2nd so we can give a good fight and entertain the people.”

Despite not being a household name in the boxing world, the young upstart Horn has displayed a great deal of confidence talking to the media thus far.

“I keep picturing myself winning,” Jeff Horn told Australia’s Sunday Morning Herald. “I keep picturing my style upsetting him throughout the fight. And I can see myself landing those big punches. And I think that’s what is going to happen.”

“I am (ready to trade punches). If that’s what I have to do, if that’s what works, I’ll stand and trade with Manny Pacquiao. I’m a pressure fighter, high-tempo from the word go. I’m going to showcase my skills against a guy that’s an absolute champion. If he’s not ready, I’m going to look 10 times better against him. Manny will be at the next level. But on my home ground, I’m going to have a big advantage.”

More from Top Rank’s official release on the fight:

Press Conference for ‪#PacquiaoHorn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. 🇵🇭🇦🇺

A post shared by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on

Add Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia to the list of venues on foreign soil that will play host to a MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO fight.  Boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao has accepted the challenge of undefeated No. 2 world-rated contender JEFF “The Hornet” HORN to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title, Saturday, July 1 (Sunday, July 2, in Australia).  Promoted by Top Rank® and Duco Events, “The Battle of Brisbane” is expected to attract 55,000 fans and a record pay-per-view audience in Australia.  It will also be seen live in the U.S.  Look for details on the U.S. telecast in the following weeks.

            “Manny has been a pioneer, bringing world title fights to Cowboys Stadium, The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena and now Suncorp Stadium.  We’re boxing’s version of Lewis & Clark, discovering new markets,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.  ” Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite on July 1, but he can’t wait to give Australia and the world a great performance.  It’s going to be unbelievable event.”

            Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is in his third reign as WBO welterweight champion.  He regained the title on November 5, winning a dominant unanimous decision victory over defending champion Jessie Vargas.  

            Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), from Bisbane, Queensland, Australia, enters this fight having won his last three fights — all in 2016 — against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller and Randall Bailey inside the distance.  They had a combined record of 105-14-4 when he fought them.  Horn is world-rated No. 2 by the WBO and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

            For fight updates go to www.toprank.comon Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, or facebook.com/trboxeo,and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, or twitter.com/trboxeo,  Use the hashtag  #PacVargas to join the conversation on Twitter. 

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