By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune is convinced that WBO #1 Jeff Horn will be consumed by nerves when they clash on Saturday (Sunday in Australia) at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with a predicted 55,000+ live gate and over ten million viewing audience in the USA. Fortune also mentions that Horn should have trained in the USA for this fight with elite southpaw sparring partners.
“People say ‘well, Manny hasn’t knocked anyone out in years’ but these are AAA guys, with pro-level experience, current or former world champions,” Fortune told AAP. “They don’t want to get knocked out, for one, and they know how to survive and how to fight. This guy (Horn) has nowhere near the experience at all. This f***** (Horn) hasn’t walked out in front of 50,000 people, ever.
“Nerves take a lot out of you when you fight. It’s actually terrible, there’s nothing you can do about it, happens to all of us. Nerves will sap the living s*** out of you. Manny’s done it, he’s used to it, it’s no big deal. Jeff’s not. I don’t think they’ve realised that.”
Fortune, who owns a gym in Hollywood and has been working with Pacquiao and Freddie Roach since 2002, also warned Horn that he had made a major error by not travelling to the United States to prepare.
“That’s my big thing with Jeff. Had you gone to the US for six weeks and prepared properly in a training camp, I’d give you a hell of a shot,” Fortune said.
“But he’s staying in Queensland and sparring with some Filipino (Czar Amonsot). Hopefully, we can pull some more Aussie boxers out there to come to America and learn their trade, like I did, in the best place in the world. That’s how you’ve got to succeed.”