One look in Jeff Horn’s eyes has convinced trainer Glenn Rushton that the unheralded Australian is handling the scrutiny ahead of Sunday’s WBO world welterweight title fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Security concerns from Queensland Police have ensured 11-time world champ Pacquiao won’t be making any public appearances in Brisbane before the WBO welterweight bout at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.
However, Rushton said former schoolteacher Horn would continue to embrace the build-up towards what is being billed as the biggest boxing event on Australian soil.
“I keep looking at Jeff all the time, I talk to him,” Rushton said.
“I only have to look at him to see if he is coping, and he is coping well.
“His eyes are bright and clear. He is good.
“But I have managed that very carefully.”
Event promoter, Duco Events boss Dean Lonergan, said Pacquiao had not received any threats but would be keeping a low profile upon advice from police after a “quite hairy” incident during his last visit.
Police recommended that Pacquiao stay out of public view after almost being overwhelmed by Brisbane fans when his location was revealed via social media while visiting for a promotional tour in April.
As a result, Horn attended a promotional training session in Brisbane’s CBD on Thursday without the Filipino legend.
Rushton said as long as Horn stuck to his strict pre-fight regimen he wouldn’t crack under the enormous pressure.
“He is very much like a racehorse. I have to keep him in a routine,” he said.
“He goes to bed at a certain time, he gets up at 8am, he eats certain foods, he trains.
“As long as I do all of that well we can cope.”
Rushton said motivation wouldn’t be a problem for Horn on Sunday in front of what is expected to be more than 50,000 fans.
About 47,000 tickets have been sold to date, already making it the biggest Australian boxing crowd since Jeff Fenech’s ill-fated 1992 re-match with Azumah Nelson in Melbourne.
“The hard work is done now absolutely. We are just cruising now to the finish,” Rushton said.
“We are just idling now. Now he will be looking for the work come Sunday.
“He will be ready to rumble on Sunday.”
Rushton said Horn hadn’t even baulked at the prospect of Sunday’s fight becoming the biggest Australian pay per view event ever.
Sales are on track to surpass the 200,000 mark, breaking the previous 190,000-plus figure set for the 2006 Anthony Mundine-Danny Green grudge match.
“We are glad to see the Australian public get behind this incredible event,” Rushton said.