By Radio Rahim
Freddie Roach, head trainer of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), views 2012 Australian Olympian Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) as the perfect stay-busy fight.
The fight will take place on July 2nd [July 1 in the United States] from the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. A massive crowd is expected for the event and some New Zealand outlets have reported that thousands of tickets have already been scooped up.
Horn is viewed as a huge underdog in the fight. His best wins are against faded former world champions Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka.
Pacquiao was back in the ring last November, when he dropped and dominated Jessie Vargas over twelve rounds to recapture the WBO crown.
If everything goes well with Horn, Roach would love to see Pacquiao get in the ring with three division world champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), who currently holds the WBC lightweight title.
Roach told BoxingScene that he recently spoke with Robert Garcia, brother and trainer of Mikey, about the possibility of making the fight with Pacquiao in the fall.
"[Horn is] a good fight to see where he's at and who's gonna be next. The thing is, it's kind of a tune-up fight for us and who he has next... Mikey Garcia's brother came to me the other day and said to me 'will you fight my brother?' I said 'sure.' I love that fight. I don't make the final decisions, but it's a possible future fight. That's what we're looking for right now, a tune-up fight and then on to bigger and better things," Roach said to BoxingScene.com.
With Pacquiao fighting at 147 and Garcia competing at 135-pounds, at what weight would would this collision take place?
"We'll fight from 140 to 147. It doesn't matter. We can make 140 pretty easy, but there are a lot of catch-weights in there, it's part of boxing these days. I know a lot of people don't like them. I'll do anything to stick up for my fighter. We'll negotiate a fair weight for who the opponent is,' Roach said.