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Pacquiao to beat Horn to the punch, says Buboy

Manny Pacquiao hits the mitts with assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez during Thursday's workout at the Elorde Boxing Gym inside the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay. | Wendell Alinea

MANILA, Philippines – Wary of Jeff Horn’s right hand, Manny Pacquiao is working not to get hit with the punch he is most susceptible to.

Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez admitted that the Filipino icon has lately been vulnerable to the right straight.

But he said it’s normal for southpaws to get hit by experienced orthodox fighters.

“Depende naman kasi yan sa sitwasyon ng kalaban, lalo pag counterpuncher. Lalo na pag kaliwete ka, you're an easy target sa kanan (It depends on the opponent, especially if he’s a counterpuncher. And especially if you’re a southpaw, you’re an easy target for the right hand),” Fernandez told Thursday after supervising Paquiao’s training at the Elorde Gym inside the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay.

Fernandez, also Pacquiao’s best friend, went nine rounds on the mitts with the fighting senator, who also worked on the heavy, double-end and speed bags.

On July 2, Pacquiao will put his WBO welterweight title on the line against Horn, who claimed to know how to fight southpaws and at the same time boasted having a powerful right hand.

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Horn’s camp is looking at the blueprint crafted by Juan Manuel Marquez—Pacquiao’s archrival—who pulled off the most convincing win over the Filipino when he knocked him out in 2012.

It was a perfectly timed counter right straight by Marquez that did Pacquiao, something Horn said he’s also capable of doing.

Pacquiao’s previous right-handed opponents, including Chris Algieri and Jessie Vargas, managed to tag Pacquiao with the same punch. But with their lack of power, they failed to take General Santos City-based southpaw out.

Fernandez insisted it is understandable.

“Kung marunong yung right-handed na makipaglaban sa left-handed, talagang tatamaan at tatamaan ka lagi (If the right-handed fighter knows how to fight a left-handed, you’re really prone to getting hit),” he added.

The key for Pacquiao, according to Fernandez, would be to beat Horn to the draw.

“Tayo naman hindi tayo papayag eh. Unahan na natin sila bago pa lumapag yung kanila. (We won’t give in. We will hit him first before he lands something),” he said.

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