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Boxing: Horn loading up on power

by Nick Giongco

Jeff Horn is loading up on power as he gets ready to bang with Manny Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.

Aside from his regular gym sessions with long-time trainer Glenn Rushton, Horn is leaning on Korean emigre Dundee Kim in helping him charge his power supply, telling his hometown paper the Courier Mail that everything is right on track.

“Dundee has been a key figure in my pro career,” Horn told the paper. “Glenn Rushton is my boxing coach and manager and Dundee helps Glenn with all my strength and conditioning.”

Unbeaten in 17 fights against one draw with 11 KOs, Horn is the overwhelming underdog in his first shot at the world title.

But Horn, a former school teacher, insists he has what it takes to bring down the Filipino eight-division champion, who has been having difficulties scoring a stoppage the last eight years.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, is also in training mode as he eagerly awaits the arrival of Hall of Fame cornerman Freddie Roach, who will supervise the most crucial phase of the preparations.

Kicking off the initial stage of his buildup for Horn exactly a week ago, Pacquiao swears he has to look extraordinarily good against Horn to remain relevant most especially that fight fans are starting to get mesmerized by the sport’s rising stars.

“I have to send a strong message to everyone,” said Pacquiao, who is nine years older at 38.

Since losing to Floyd Mayweather two years ago, Pacquiao was forced to recycle an old foe in Tim Bradley and met a lesser light in Jessie Vargas, fights that didn’t appeal even to his followers.

And the choice of Horn only added fuel to the fire as almost no one is giving the fighter from Down Under a chance to mess up Pacquiao’s hair in the scheduled 12-rounder that takes place before a capacity crowd of 55,000 at Suncorp Stadium.