Fenech backs Horn to cause upset over Pacquiao
MANNY Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion, having won eleven major world titles in his decorated boxing career, but he's about to be ambushed by Jeff Horn.
That's the opinion of Australian legend Jeff Fenech, who predicts that the Fighting Schoolteacher - as Horn is known - can cause a monumental boilover on July 2 at Suncorp Stadium.
"Jeff Horn is a very, very special fighter,” Fenech said on Bill and Boz on Tuesday night.
"Don't write him off. I honestly believe that there's an upset in the making and if he fights the right fight - and I can't tell him how to do that, though I'll see him on Friday and spend some time with him - but if he fights the right fight there could be a huge upset.
"The great thing about Jeff Horn is that he wants it. This is going to be a real rumble, this is going to be a fight, and that's the way Jeff Horn can win.
"If he doesn't put any pressure on him and try and take Manny to where he hasn't been for a few years, if he does that then I think he can win the fight.”
US promoter Bob Arum, who turned Muhammad Ali and Pacquiao into sporting icons, has also been impressed by Horn's capabilities and isn't ruling out a shock upset.
"Jeff is the underdog but boxing history is full of upsets,'' Arum told The Courier-Mail. "Can you imagine the worldwide media Jeff will get if he beats Pacquiao?”
Horn's savage sessionHorn's savage session0:53
Pacquiao is 38 and hasn't stopped an opponent since his TKO of Miguel Cotto in 2009, but that hasn't stopped his trainer Freddie Roach declaring that his charge needs a stoppage to emphasise his superiority.
Fenench has heard the chat from Roach but isn't so sure that Pac Man has the power anymore.
"Remember he's a little older,” Fenech said of Pacquiao. "Of course, I'm not sure if it's just talk from his trainer but Freddie Roach is saying he can knock him out whenever he wants to.
"He hasn't knocked anyone out in the last eight or nine years. But Jeff Horn is bigger than the average guy he's fought.
"First and foremost, like I said, preparation is everything. So he's got to train. Of course he knows what he's in for. Manny Pacquiao is a very, very special human being. He's won more titles than anybody else.
"I just think that Jeff Horn has never taken a backward step. Jeff Horn fights anybody and that's what I love about him. So all these people that are doubting him, well I'm really loving him.”
Fenech talked about being doubted when he was starting out, most notably against Jerome Coffee, who at the time held a 26-0 record before fighting the Marrickville Mauler.
"I was doubted lots when I first started,” Fenech said. "I couldn't beat Jerome Coffee, who was 26-0 with this best amateur record. 'Jeff Fench can't beat him'.
"All the Australian boxing experts were there and all the legends who watched him spar (said) 'Jeff Fenech can't beat him'.
"Look at me, I've got two arms and two legs, the same as him. It's how much I wanted it on that night.
"And I just know that Jeff Horn is one hungry young man who wants to be world champion.”