Manny Pacquiao wants a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, but before that can happen, he needs to go through Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao and Horn, a 29-year-old Aussie with an undefeated record, will square off this Saturday at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. At 38, Pacquiao remains one of the biggest names in the sport, but his trainer, Freddie Roach, says that he’ll need to be on his game if he wants another shot at his longtime rival.
“He wants a rematch with Mayweather,” Roach told Sky News. “To get Mayweather, you have to look good… he has to be impressive.”
Pacquiao has compiled a 59-6-2 record in his storied career, but his results have taken a downward turn over the last half-decade. The Filipino has lost three of his last eight fights, including the initial matchup against Mayweather in 2015.
In addition, Pacquiao hasn’t scored a knockout since his 2009 bout with Miguel Cotto, though Roach foresees that streak coming to an end this weekend.
“[Pacquiao] doesn’t like to predict knockouts and so forth, but I do,” said Roach. “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.”
Fortunately for Pacquiao, he shouldn’t have too much trouble proving his trainer right. He’s currently a -650 favorite to beat Horn, who’s never been in an official fight outside of the Southern Hemisphere.
If Pacquiao can make good on those projections, then he’ll have a fighting chance of securing the rematch he so covets. Mayweather hasn’t been very active since their first meeting, but he just might be willing to take on a rejuvenated Pacquiao.
Mayweather, 40, has been the talk of the boxing world this year — the two-time winner of The Ring magazine’s Fighter of the Year award is set to go up against MMA superstar Conor McGregor at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena this August. It’s shaping up to be the sport’s biggest fan draw since the first Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which ended with a unanimous decision in favor of the former.
While he’s been busy preparing for this Saturday, Pacquiao doesn’t expect much from the Mayweather-McGregor bout, saying that the fight “could be very boring.”