Welterweight contender, Jeff Horn, is just over a week away from the biggest fight of his life, as he is set to face 8 division world champion and boxing legend, Manny Pacquiao. While the odds are long for Horn, he believes he can shock the world and defeat Pacquiao in front of the Australian boxing fans.
In my interview with Jeff Horn, I discuss with him the upcoming July 1st bout and get his views on the challenge ahead of him. I also talk to Jeff about Manny Pacquiao possibly taking him lightly and about dealing with Pacquiao’s style. Additionally, Horn talks about the press coverage for the fight, if he thinks he can knock out Pacquiao and gives his prediction. Here is what Jeff Horn had to say.
Robert Brown: It seemed like the deal was off with the Pacquiao fight, but now the fight is official. During that whole time, were you confident that you could get the deal back on track or were you looking for different opponents?
Jeff Horn: I definitely wasn’t confident at the time. We were thinking about other opponents but we got told to hang tight and the deal ended up pulling up.
Robert Brown: How has training camp been so far?
Jeff Horn: It’s intense, it’s a lot of hard work and I’m doing what I can t get ready for the fight.
Robert Brown: What advantages do you think you will have over Manny Pacquiao? Do you think he may be taking you lightly and looking ahead to other opponents?
Jeff Horn: Possibly, that’s something that can happen, especially when you’ve been a champion for so long. I think Manny Pacquiao is smarter than that and I think he’s going to be getting ready regardless of the fight. I don’t think he’s going to be coming underdone.
Robert Brown: What weaknesses do you see in Pacquiao that you may be able to exploit?
Jeff Horn: I think he sometimes is focused on his attack so much and he uses that as his offense, but he does leave himself open a little bit, as he was seen to do with Marquez in the fight where he got knocked out.
Robert Brown: In the Marquez fight he overextended and got caught. Will you be looking for to counter with the straight right when he overextends?
Jeff Horn: Yes of course, I will be trying to get him with that same shot if I possibly can. I’m working on all of the strategies and trying to see what’s going to work best on the night, but you don’t know until you step in there.
Robert Brown: Do you think the press coverage has been disrespectful to your abilities and chances, or do you think it has been fair?
Jeff Horn: I don’t think they know at all who I am, so I guess for them to put me down is pretty understandable because they haven’t heard of me before. I guess if they looked into my fight record and who I’ve fought and what I’ve done in my career so far, they would see that I’m pushing myself every fight and I deserve a fight against Manny Pacquiao.
Robert Brown: Do you feel that all of the pressure is going to be on Manny Pacquiao? Will he be under pressure to not only win but get a spectacular victory? Will that play into your advantage?
Jeff Horn: I think it could if he takes me lightly, but I don’t think he’s going to. I think he probably is training hard. He’s been doing this for so long, so the pressure isn’t going to get to him, he’s been in high pressure situations before and this is going to be no different to those.
Robert Brown: Having Manny Pacquiao come down to Australia, what do you think it does for the Australian boxing industry?
Jeff Horn: That will do wonders for the sport of boxing if I can put on a good show with Manny Pacquiao on July 2nd, especially if I can win the fight. That shows that the pressure is on me as well. I’ve got to perform well, no matter what, I can’t just go out there and lose in a few rounds — which is what some are predicting. I’ve got to do what I can to make it very competitive out there, and win.
Robert Brown: Do you think Pacquiao’s confidence will wilt if you take him to the second half of the fight because maybe he is expecting to take you out early? Do you think there’s a chance of knocking him out early yourself?
Jeff Horn: Who knows, if I hit him with the right punch, you don’t know what would happen. If I do catch him early, I will be going after him. But if that doesn’t come, I will be trying to wear him down later in the fight.
Robert Brown: What will be your plan if you get past Manny Pacquiao? Would you like to unify the titles?
Jeff Horn: Yeah of course, that’s the ultimate goal, to unify the titles and become the ultimate world champion.