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No rest day for Pacquiao

by Nick Giongco

BRISBANE, Australia – Manny Pacquiao broke tradition Sunday when the Filipino eight-division champion went on an unscheduled afternoon run after attending church service earlier in the day.

Exactly a week before he risks the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against Jeff Horn, Pacquiao donned his training gear and took to the streets, a practice he normally shuns during this day in the week.

SENATOR Manny Pacquiao does a selfie with fans upon his arrival in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao is set to fight Australian challenger Jeff Horn on July 2. (Nick Giongco)

SENATOR Manny Pacquiao does a selfie with fans upon his arrival in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao is set to fight Australian challenger Jeff Horn on July 2. (Nick Giongco)

But since he was unable to practically train Saturday as he was on board a chartered flight from General Santos City that ferried him and 150 or so to this city, Pacquiao decided to work out.

Mike Koncz, the Canadian adviser of Pacquiao, believes that his boss is trying to make sure all bases are covered by the time he answers the bell at Suncorp Stadium.

“He’s (Horn) not in the same league as Manny,” said Koncz at the lobby of the Sofitel, stressing that the scheduled 12-rounder will likely come to a violent end somewhere in the fourth or fifth rounds.

“It is imperative that Manny wins this fight on a knockout and not on a 12-round decision,” he added.

Still, Koncz feels the fight will be a huge success as more than 45,000 tickets have already been sold and an additional 5,000 is being readied for fans who are willing to pack the venue.

The coming days won’t see Pacquiao being told to go down the well as there’ll be promotional events in store.

Horn is hosting an open media workout Monday afternoon while Pacquiao is doing the same thing on Tuesday before they appear in a press conference on Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium.

A gala luncheon, featuring the stars of yesteryears, including Roberto Duran and Jeff Fenech, Australia’s greatest ring warrior of all time, are gracing the event set Friday with the Queensland State Government presiding.

Meanwhile, Horn is taking a page from the book of Juan Manuel Marquez when he attempts to dethrone Manny Pacquiao this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.

“The right hand,” Horn said when asked about the keys to victory against the massive Filipino favorite.

“He’s been knocked out by the right hand. (Juan Manuel) Marquez did it,” said the 29-year-old hometown fighter in the final days leading up to this weekend’s big event.

Marquez, the master Mexican counter puncher, flattened the 38-year-old Pacquiao with a right to the jaw in 2002.

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