MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Manny Pacquiao is seeking a dominant win over Australia’s Jeff Horn to try and coax Floyd Mayweather Jr into a re-match, the Filippino’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach has said.
Pacquiao, who was defeated by American Mayweather in an unanimous points decision in Las Vegas in 2015, will defend his WBO welterweight belt against former schoolteacher and rank outsider Horn in Brisbane on Sunday.
“He wants a re-match with Mayweather,” Roach told Sky News of 38-year-old Pacquiao.
“To get Mayweather, you have to look good.
“Against Horn, he’s got to look good, he has to be impressive.”
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with an unbeaten record of 49-0, has agreed to come out of retirement for a 12-round fight against mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao has failed to win by knockout since a 12th round TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2009 but Roach said the fighter was primed to cause a stoppage against 29-year-old Horn, who is undefeated in 17 fights against mostly obscure opponents.
“(Pacquiao) doesn’t like to predict knockouts and so forth but I do,” Roach said at a media conference on Wednesday.
“I think it’s going to be short and sweet. If our opponent comes out like he says he’s going to, Manny will fire back and I think it’s going to be great fight (but) it won’t last too long. And someone will get knocked out.”
The ‘Battle of Brisbane’ at Lang Park, a 55,000-seat venue used mainly for professional rugby matches, is the biggest fight in decades ‘Down Under’, throwing Pacquiao’s unheralded opponent Horn into a huge spotlight.
Horn reminded Pacquiao of his 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez and said the Filippino had lost some of the power in his punches.
“Ever since that knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny doesn’t pull the trigger like he used to when he was on his big run of wins,” the 29-year-old told local media.
“He’s looked good in his last two fights but he hasn’t been able to win inside the distance for a long time and I think that’s because of the KO loss he suffered against Marquez in 2012.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)