BRISBANE, Australia – Former schoolteacher Jeff Horn marked a tardy on Manny Pacquiao’s report card for showing up late to Wednesday’s press conference.
The event began nearly an hour late at the Paddington Room of Suncorp Stadium, with Horn, media and local government officials left waiting for the WBO welterweight titleholder to arrive with his entourage.
“It was frustrating, I think I was more frustrated for [Education and Tourism Minister Kate Jones] and [Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk] and other people that had other appointments after that,” Horn said Thursday afternoon at his public workout, which was attended by several hundred fans in Brisbane’s city center.
“I had training as well which he was holding that up. I like to be on schedule when the bell rings, I like to be in class on time like my students. It’s a bit frustrating but what can you do? He’s the man of the show at the moment.”
Horn, unbeaten at 16-0-1 (11 knockouts) and the World Boxing Organization’s number two contender, also took exception to Pacquiao being on his phone for much of the press conference, for which Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan took a cheeky shot at him for, calling the 8-division champion a “world champion texter because he never gets off the bloody phone.”
“It’s a bit disrespectful, not just to me, I’m thinking of everyone else who’s watching at the event. Seeing Pacquiao, he’s showing all of us he’s not interested in what’s going on,” said Horn. “Maybe that’s him taking us lightly, I don’t know.”
Still, Horn thought it was “hilarious” to see Pacquiao’s red-faced reaction as the media contingent laughed along. Pacquiao later said he wasn’t texting, but was preparing the remarks he intended to deliver at the press conference. The question-and-answer format didn’t allocate time for the speech, however.
Pacquiao has insisted he isn’t taking the relatively unknown fighter lightly, but says he isn’t losing any sleep over the prospect of facing Horn, whom he describes as “OK.”
Horn says he still has about 8 pounds to lose to make the 147-pound weight limit for Saturday morning’s weigh-in for the fight on Sunday, July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Lonergan said Wednesday that 46,000 tickets had been sold – already eclipsing the nearly 38,000 who attended the 1992 rematch between Azumah Nelson and Jeff Fenech in the previously highest-attended Australian fight. Lonergan said 9,000 tickets were still available but expected at least 50,000 to be in the arena.
(READ: Jeff Horn determined to make his name at Pacquiao’s expense)
Other than punctuality, Horn says he has no other idiosyncrasies. He’s just worried about making weight, and then showing up to the stadium feeling fresh.
“There’s no superstitions or routines, I just like being on schedule so Manny being late the other day probably wasn’t the best thing,” said Horn. “Waking up at a certain time and eating at a certain time throughout the day. So 8 o’clock I’m gonna wake up on fight day so I’m feeling nice and fresh at 1:30 or 2 o’clock for the fight.” – Rappler.com
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