By Mesuli Zifo
SOUTH African veteran boxer Ali Funeka has cautioned Filipino great Manny Pacquiao against underestimating Jeff Horn if they wound up facing each other on April 23 as planned.
No venue has been officially decided for the fight as yet but all indications point it as a go for Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland in Australia with Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title at stake.
Horn scored a six rounds stoppage victory over Funeka in what has now turned out to be an eliminator for Pacquaio sweepstakes.
The fight was held in New Zealand as a co-feature to the WBO heavyweight championship between Kiwi Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz with the former escaping with a unanimous decision to become the new champion.
Going to the fight, the 38-year- Funeka, who is the same age as the Filipino, was not only confident of a win but had vowed to score a stoppage.
But during the fight he was the one seeing the stars after being dropped in the fifth round before the slaughter was halted in the sixth.
Reacting to the fight, Funeka said Horn had the worst unconventional boxing style he had ever seen.
“I had watched his video footage and I was confident that he would not be a problem,” Funeka said. “But wait until you get into the ring with him and you will be surprised how awkward he is. He budged in with his head and rammed me with it on my left eye. After that I was dizzy for the entire fight.”
Funeka also commended Horn’s power admitting that the Aussie has a good punch.
“He complements his unconventional style with power as he tends to swivel all his body when throwing a right hand to generate all the power to it.”
While Horn will likely enter the Pacquiao fight as an underdog, Funeka is not ruling out an upset especially if the Filipino Senator is taking Horn lightly.
“Pacquiao should leave nothing to chance when preparing for Horn otherwise he will get the shock of his life like I did. That guy is not pretty to watch but he does what he does successfully and he will surprise a lot of boxers with that style. I know some people are dismissing him because he does not follow the boxing script when fighting but I am telling you he may upset Pacquiao especially as the Filipino is not the same dynamo he used to be.”
Funeka adds that Horn who at 28 years old is Pacquiao’s junior by 10 years will have youth on his side to execute his game plan while the Filipino will rely on video footage which may mislead him as it did to him.