After months of finding the right opponent, Manny Pacquiao is ready to step back into the ring. Australian Jeff Horn turns out to be the man for the job and he'll attempt to be the man to finally retire Pacquiao.
Pac-Man has something else in mind.
"I want to defend my crown and to prove I am still there in boxing - I am not done yet in boxing," said Pacquiao at the Brisbane media day.
Pacquiao has looked solid in his last two fights, defeating Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas respectively. In fact, Pacquiao is 6-1 since 2012 with his only loss coming at the hands of Floyd Mayweather. Although a fight with Amir Khan would be a fight that boxing fans would cheerfully accept, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum set up a with the relatively unknown Jeff Horn. However, although Horn isn't known in the states, he is huge in Australia and it's almost guaranteed that the 55,000 seat venue in Brisbane will sell out.
Pacquiao and Horn (16-0-1) will duke it out on July 1st as Pacquiao puts his WBO welterweight title on the line.
Horn may not be the most well-known boxer, but he's no slouch. He's coming off back-to-back knockout victories, while Pacquiao hasn't scored a knockout win since 2009. That stat stands out because very few boxers can out box Pacquiao the way Floyd Mayweather did in their bout, so a flash knockout is Horn's best chance at the upset.
Pacquiao spoke about the match during the Brisbane press event, but there was one statement in particular that jumped out immediately.
That shocking revelation came when Pacquiao admitted that he hasn't watched any film on Horn.
"I don't know much about him but I know he's a fighter. I haven't watched his fights yet, but I'm going to get his last three fights and watch them," Pacquiao admitted.
There's obviously still plenty of time for Pacquiao to familiarize himself with his opponent, but it really highlights how much attention, or the lack of, Pacquaio shows to boxing during his off time.
You can expect Pacquiao to show up prepared on July 1st and he should pick up another win. The question becomes who Pacquiao fights moving forward, and if he's willing to challenge one of the many rising stars in the welterweight division.