Pacquiao must defeat Horn or lose contract – Arum

(L-R) Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn (Photo:

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent

The bout with Australian Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on July 1 is a do-or-die battle of sorts for Manny Pacquiao as his promoter Bob Arum threatened not to renew Pacquiao’s contract with Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which expires with this bout if Pacman loses to the unbeaten Horn.

In Brisbane, Jeff Horn told Filipino sportswriters that he studied closely how Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez decked and beat up Pacquiao and would adopt the same fight strategy.

The 29-year-old Horn said he will shock the world on Sunday, admitting to focusing on Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in his quest for a massive victory.

“The Marquez knock-out has definitely been the main point,” the Brisbane native told the media on Monday before working out. Horn, like others before him, will try to duplicate Marquez’s success in scoring the most decisive win over Pacquiao.

“Marquez has fought Pacquiao brilliantly; (he’s) the best to have fought Pacquiao. So, he’s someone whom we’ve looked at a lot,” explained Horn, whose mind is still fresh with memories of the Mexican star’s sixth-round knockout win Pacquiao over five years ago.

Marquez capped his epic four-bout rivalry with Pacquiao by having the last laugh when he caught his rival with a perfect counter right to knock him out cold in their 2012 duel in Las Vegas.

It was one of the best punches ever, as Marquez landed it on Pacquiao’s face with pinpoint accuracy and tremendous power. Now, Horn has made it his goal to repeat the same.

“And to land the same punch that Marquez did in that fight which is a big overhand right, that’s definitely what we’re looking for,” he added.

Horn can’t wait for Sunday to prove that he’s capable of achieving the same feat. “I’ve trained the hardest I’ve had for this fight and to finally get in the ring and show what I’ve done is all I want to do at this stage. I’ve finished all that hard work and I’m just ready to show that in the ring,” Horn said.

Arum said whether Manny Pacquiao can take bigger fights in the future will depend largely on how he performs against Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium this Sunday. The longtime promoter of Pacquiao seemed hesitant to say if the Filipino champion still got what it takes to prevail over the Australian challenger.

“I’ve gotta really see what he has left. How good he is,” Arum told Filipino scribes at the sidelines of Horn’s media workout Monday.

Even coach Freddie Roach, who claims Pacquiao is in the best shape heading to the Horn fight, can’t convince the veteran promoter to think otherwise.

Arum said: “I had breakfast with Freddie today, and Freddie says that this is the best Manny he has seen in over a year. But a lot of times Freddie says things that aren’t necessarily objective.

He believes them, he’s honest but he sees things subjectively.”

That’s why Arum wants to see for himself whether Pacquiao can still compete at the top level.

Asked if he sees Pacquiao fighting younger, more dangerous foes like featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko and rising star Terence Crawford somewhere down the road, Arum declined to speculate.

On the part of Pacquiao, his camp is looking at no less than a knock-out victory against Horn in a bid to re-invigorate fan interest in the Filipino star’s boxing career. But Pacquiao is not looking past his mandatory challenger Jeff Horn before a large crowd of Horn’s boxing fans.

Pacquiao will be battling the very tough and unbeaten Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), who has never tasted defeat as he’s marched through the first 17 fights of his career.