Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn: Fight Time, Schedule and Scorecard Predictions

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2017

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28:  Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn face off after the official press conference for WBO World Welterweight Championship
 at Suncorp Stadium on June 28, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao will put his WBO welterweight title on the line when he steps into the ring against Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday.

The fight looks set to be something of a mismatch, though, so the belt may not be at much risk, but former school teacher Horn will have his eyes set on a sensational upset of the veteran. 

Taking into account the 14-hour time difference, coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday (2 a.m. BST on Sunday), with the main event starting at approximately 1:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 a.m. BST).

     

Preview

Pacquiao has moved on from his defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, beating both Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas last year, with the latter victory allowing him to reclaim his WBO title.

The 38-year-old will be comfortably the biggest test of Horn's career, with the 29-year-old yet to fight outside his home country or neighbouring New Zealand.

It looks set to be a one-sided affair, but Pacquiao is nevertheless treating the bout seriously. He told the Courier-Mail's Grantlee Kieza: "In all my years of boxing, I have never been as motivated and fired up as this fight. My team is very happy with my preparation. I am looking forward to this and I will be going home as world champion."

He also stoked the fires ahead of the clash with some fierce words, per sports reporter Mav Gonzales:

Pac-Man offered a glimpse of his preparation for the contest on Twitter, and his trademark speed was still evident:

Horn is unbeaten over 17 fights in his career, but Pacquiao is several cuts above anyone he's faced thus far.

The Australian is nevertheless relishing the prospect of taking him on in the ring, per Camille B. Naredo of ABS-CBN News: "I've trained the hardest that I've ever had for this fight. To finally get in the ring and show what I've done is all I want to do at this stage. I've finished all the hard work, and I'm just ready to show that in the ring."

He also believes his size and youth "might show" as the fight wears on and he has modelled his plan for the fight based on Juan Manuel Marquez's knockout defeat of Pacquiao in 2012: "That Marquez knockout has been our main point. Marquez fought Pacquiao the best that anyone has fought Pacquiao. So he's someone that we have looked at a lot. To land the same punch that Marquez did in the fight—the big overhand right—that's definitely what we're looking for."

As well as the leap in quality of Horn's opponent, he will also have to adjust to competing in front of a much bigger crowd than normal, per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael:

What could help in that regard is that despite Pacquiao's popularity and legendary status, the majority of the crowd are likely to get behind the Brisbane native.

Nevertheless, such is the gulf in class between the two, it remains difficult to envision anything other than a win for the Filipino.

Pacquiao has not managed a knockout victory since 2009, so like his wins in the intervening years, it would not be a surprise if the fight went the distance. If it does, expect a unanimous decision in his favour.

Scorecard prediction: Pacquiao wins via unanimous decision, 117-111, 116-112, 118-110

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