Jeff Horn during a training session in Brisbane today.
Jeff Horn during a training session in Brisbane today. ALBERT PEREZ

Horn must aim for PacMan's chin, says Leapai

BOXING: Alex Leapai has witnessed firsthand what it's like to fight a superstar of the sport and he's backing fellow Brisbane boxer Jeff Horn to go one step better than he did and win a world title.

Most observers outside Australia feel Horn has little chance of defeating 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao in Sunday's Battle of Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

No one gave Leapai a chance of beating another multiple world champion and boxing superstar when he took on Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight title just over three years ago in Germany.

Leapai, the last boxer from Brisbane to fight for a world crown, was unable to achieve his fairytale win.

But the 37-year-old, who is looking for a return to the ring in August, said Horn was a strong chance to defeat the 38-year-old Pacquiao.

"Jeff's mind is just on winning the fight," he said.

"I think Manny Pacquiao has his mind on other things. He's into politics and he's busy with things outside the ring."


Leapai with trainer and manager Noel Thornberry.

Leapai said Horn was fighting Pacquiao at the right time of his career despite the fact he will be having only his 18th professional bout, while the Filipino superstar was getting set for his 68th.

"You can't take it away from Pac Man, I think he's defended a world title more times than Jeff has fought," he said.

"But everybody has a weakness and his is his chin. We have seen him get knocked out cold by Juan Marquez.

"It's just a matter of timing and Jeff just has to get his right and I think he can win.''

Taking on the Ukrainian giant Klitschko at the peak of his powers in 2014, Leapai was knocked out in the fifth round.

"We tried to keep everything as normal as we could," Leapai said of his preparation for that bout.

"We did a bit of work on the way he fought. It's really hard to change your style to fight his style because he had fought everybody and he knew every style.

"You try your best to do something he has not seen but obviously it just didn't work for me but it's the same case for Jeff, he's got to focus on what he has got to do."

Leapai said he would be ringside on Sunday to show his full support for Horn.

"We have got to be there to support our bro," he said. "Any Australian who fights for a world title we should support them.

"It's not every day you see an Aussie fighting for a world title, especially against someone who is an eight-division world champion.

"No matter the outcome, he has made us really proud by just getting a chance to fight for a world crown.''