Team Pacquiao: 'Jeff Horn is a dangerous guy'
IT'S the Rocky Horror move that Manny Pacquiao believes is key to beating Australia's Rocky, Jeff Horn - a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.
On Tuesday Pacquiao told me that he's not nervous at all about Sunday's superfight at Suncorp Stadium and that he is sleeping soundly with every intention of still being world welterweight champion when he flies home after the fight.
Pacquiao has been practising his devastating counter-move all his life since he started fighting on the streets of Manila as a runaway teenager and he's sharpening it this week at the Lang Park PCYC in readiness for the bout at Suncorp Stadium.
"My preparation has been very good,'' Pacquiao said.
"Jeff Horn is a school teacher but I am a teacher in the boxing ring.''
I showed Horn some spy footage of Pacquiao going through the moves and the Fighting Schoolteacher guaranteed me he's done his homework on exactly the position the Filipino fighter-turned-senator tries to gain in centre ring.
At 38, southpaw Pacquiao is one of the fastest fighters in the world with both feet and hands, and that speed allows the World Boxing Organisation welterweight champion to batter opponents from unorthodox angles. Being a left-hander (southpaw) also makes him more difficult for orthodox fighters (right-handed) such as Horn.
Pacquiao then exaggerates the difficulty with his slippery moves.
He's most dangerous when he's attacking from the side and he is constantly rehearsing the shock punches.
His most dangerous technique will be to slip underneath Horn's left jab, then from a crouch position take a little jump to Horn's left, then a little step to the right and try to nail Horn with a right hook and the booming straight left cross that has been the big knockout weapon throughout his career.
"I know what Manny has,'' Horn said.
"But I don't spend a lot of time watching fights or the moves he makes. My trainer, Glenn Rushton, has spent thousands of hours watching him, studying every little thing he does.
"Glenn forms the plan for me and tells me what to do and I follow the plan. It's the way we've always worked. It's been successful so far and I know it will work on Sunday.''
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach expects Sunday's big battle to be "short and sweet''.
"This is Jeff Horn's big chance. He's a dangerous guy,'' Roach said.
"But he will get an awful shock when he experiences Manny's speed.
"Horn has never seen anything like the speed Manny brings to the ring and he won't be able to handle it.''
Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, a former world-class Australian heavyweight boxer, said the Filipino legend wanted to score a big knockout win for his debut on the ESPN network in America, which has promised him the largest television audience he has ever experienced in the United States.
Fortune, 51, said he had focusing on plyometrics and footspeed for Pacquiao's workouts and that the world champ was "such a great athlete that he can punch and move at the same time.''
"With his foot movement, Manny's impossible to catch,'' Fortune said.
"And when Horn comes in, Manny will nail him. I think Manny needs to knock out Horn and I know he will.
"Horn might be a schoolteacher but he is simply not in the same class as Manny.''