MANILA — Can Manny Pacquiao make short work of Jeff Horn?Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, doesn’t think so.
“I don’t expect short fights anymore with Manny. He hasn’t got a knockout in years, so why would I put myself out on the line?” Roach said as Pacquiao trained at Elorde Boxing Gym in Pasay City on Wednesday.
Roach is in the country together with strength and conditioning coach Justine Fortune to prepare Pacquiao for his welterweight world title defense against Horn in Brisbane, Australia on July 2.
Roach said he’s already seen fight videos of the Australian boxer and he didn’t sound impressed. “He’s OK, a bit of a puncher. He comes to fight, he’s aggressive, but nothing special,” Roach said.
Pacquiao hasn’t won via stoppage since his 12th-round TKO victory over Miguel Cotto in November 2009, so Roach isn’t convinced Pacquiao will reverse the trend.
“(From) killer instinct and no killer instinct, he doesn’t have that in years,” Roach said. “It’s always a concern, but it’s something we have to deal with.”
Last Tuesday, Roach pitted Pacquiao against two Filipino boxers in a pair of sparring sessions.
Although Pacquiao was behind with his timing, Roach said he’s not worried.
“We’re just trying to stick to the game plan. It’ll get better and better everyday,” said Roach, who acknowledged that seeing Pacquiao floor Horn or another opponent is a pipe dream.
“I’d love to see him knock out guys, but sometimes I wish it would come true.”
Pacquiao’s team is expected to train in Manila until the end of the month before moving camp to General Santos City once the Senate sessions end.
Roach said his group will fly to Australia at least a week before the fight.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)
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