Battle of Brisbane: Bully Manny and you win
BOXING: Jeff Horn took up boxing to help him fight off bullies.
Now the last Australian to take on Manny Pacquiao says Horn must be the bully against the aging Filipino superstar if he is to win next week's "Battle of Brisbane".
Nedal "Skinny" Hussein, who lost to Pacquiao in October 2000 for the World Boxing Council International super-bantamweight title in the Philippines, said he would be shocked if Horn defeated Pacquiao but still thought there was a chance of an upset and he knew just what the former Brisbane schoolteacher had to do.
"I think Jeff's got to bully him," he said.
"We have seen numerous times that Pacquiao doesn't like being bullied. He likes to be left alone so he can unload his combos.
"I think Jeff's best bet is to get him out of his comfort zone.
"Pacquiao is 38, he is not as active with his footwork and his hand speed is not like it was five to six years ago.
"He has gradually slowed down a lot and that shows because he hasn't had a knockout in six years.
"I don't know if his punching power has gone but he's certainly not knocking anyone out any more.
"Horn's always got a chance.
"Jeff Horn's a big bloke. Pacquiao's not a big bloke at all.
"So he has to use his size."
The other thing that Horn had on his side, said Hussein, was a parochial and big home crowd behind him.
"It's a big advantage having the fight in Australia, I will tell you that," he said.
"It's a big difference when a fighter has to travel.
"100% it gives a fighter the edge being at home.
"It gave Danny Green the edge against Roy Jones and Anthony Mundine the edge when he fought Shane Moseley.
"I know some of these older guys they don't like to travel any more.
"They only travel because the money in there country becomes a lot less.
"Travelling is the only way they can keep that high purse up."
Hussein knocked Pacquiao down in round four of their world title eliminator just under 17 years ago before losing controversially after 10 rounds with the home fighter seemingly being given more than 10 seconds to recover from going to the canvas and the Aussie being deducted a point for elbowing his opponent.
The now 39-year-old plies his trade in the used car business in Sydney and remembers his battle with Pacquaio well but said Australian boxing was now fighting for survival.
"Boxing is dead (in Australia)," Hussein, who held Australian and continental titles at bantamweight, super bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight said.
"I don't know how many registered boxers there are in Australia but I can't see it being more than 300.
"In Argentina there would have to be close to a million registered fighters.
"Boxing has slowed down and UFC has taken over a bit.
"But this will boost the boxing game.
"You have to remember that (Anthony) Mundine and (Danny) Green are on the decline and no one generates the interest that they do.
"So once they go there's no one there to carry the reins.
"Who else is there?"
Hussein said promoters Duco Events had done a wonderful job securing the fight, dubbed the Battle of Brisbane, at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, July 2.
"What Duco has done to get Pacquiao out here is phenomenal, they have done a miracle," he said.
"They have promoted Jeff Horn correctly and for someone who has just had 17 fights to get a title shot against the best pound-for -pound boxer in the last 10 years and to have it in your own back yard, is remarkable.
"It's a boost for Australian boxing - win, lose or draw."