Fired up Manny Pacquiao arrives in Oz for Jeff Horn bout
BOXING great Manny Pacquiao has arrived in Brisbane ahead of next Sunday's superfight with Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium.
Pacquiao arrived at Brisbane Airport Saturday night and declared he would be going home a winner, saying he was looking forward to a toe-to-toe brawl with Brisbane's Fighting Schoolteacher.
Pacquiao and a 160-strong army of family and friends touched down at 8.20pm on a chartered AirAsia Airbus A330 flight from his hometown in General Santos City, where he has spent the last three weeks of his eight-week training camp.
The customised aircraft's body featured a giant image of the Filipino icon in a fierce fighting pose.
"In all my years of boxing, I have never been as motivated and fired up as this fight,'' he said.
"My team is very happy with my preparation. I am looking forward to this and I will be going home as world champion.''
Last night's arrival was like a presidential landing, befitting the status of Pacquiao, who is a high-ranking Filipino senator tipped to be a future leader of his nation of 100 million people.
The 11-time world champion, one of history's greatest boxers, said he was not underestimating Horn and that he was in the best form of his career.
In the last week Pacquiao has twice knocked down his Mexican sparring partner Adrian Young and was brutal punching on with Australian lightweight George Kambosos.
But Pacquiao is leaving nothing to chance and he and wife Jinkee, devout born-again Christians, will pray for victory at a church service in Brisbane Sunday morning.
"With God, everything is possible,'' Pacquiao said.
There were stirring scenes at the airport in General Santos City Saturday morning as Pacquiao was given a military guard of honour as he boarded the flight.
Pacquiao walked the red carpet to the jet, saluting a cordon of soldiers who presented arms.
A small band of fans was waiting for him in Brisbane Saturday night.