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Training Day for MP

Horn undaunted by Pacquiao’s fight record.

Preparations for Manny Pacquiao’s. July 2 defense of the world welterweight crown in Australia kicked off yesterday when the fighting lawmaker hit the road with wife Jinkee and twin sister Janet joining him.

Pacquiao, who makes the first defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against unbeaten Jeff Horn in Brisbane, jogged inside Forbes Park before doing light exercises and playing a bit of basketball.

While training camp proper won’t happen until May 1, or two months before the WBO 147-lb title duel at the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium, Pacquiao is not leaving any stone unturned.

The 38-year-old Pacquiao, whose last fight was a points win over Jessie Vargas in November in Las Vegas, had initially wanted to face Amir Khan instead in the Middle East but later discovered that the mouthwatering offer of $38-million was just a mirage.

Horn (16-0-1 with 11 KOs) is unknown outside Australia but insists that the world will be in for a shock after he deals with the Filipino eight-division champion.

Pacquiao (59-6-2 with 38 KOs) is the overwhelming favorite against Horn, who is a licensed school teacher, swears he is not being led to the lion’s den, telling the Courier Mail newspaper that he is for real.

“I hope Manny comes out swinging with everything,’’ Horn told the paper.

“I’m going after him from the opening bell and the more punches he throws at me the more openings I’ll have to hit him with my counterpunches. Every time Manny throws a punch at me his guard comes down,” he said.

Horn maintains that while he readily acknowledges Pacquiao’s legendary status, he is not at all bothered.

“He’s one of the best boxers of all time but he has been knocked out and he’s sometimes wide open. I’m hoping he looks at the odds and gets a little careless because I’m ready to take his world title.”

Meanwhile, a multi-city press tour Down Under is being finalized starting with the first leg in Brisbane. Other stops include Sydney, Melbourne.