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Horn looks for fast TKO in Auckland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/12/2016 Angelo Risso

Australian boxer Jeff Horn says he'll go straight for the jugular when he takes on South African Ali Funeka on Saturday.

Horn, 28, is currently ranked No.2 in the WBO welterweight division and a resounding victory in Auckland could set him up for stateside bouts in 2017.

And with legendary promoter Bob Arum looking on, Horn will also be keen to show he deserves a crack at Philippine world champion Manny Pacquiao.

The Brisbane ex-schoolteacher told reporters on Tuesday he'd look to blow the 38-year-old Funeka out of the water from the first round.

Impressing Arum, a former promoter of Muhammad Ali, could be crucial for his immediate boxing future.

"I never say I'm definitely going to knock a guy out because sometimes they're so tough and don't go down," Horn said.

"But I'm definitely going to be pushing him and if he wants to quit at any stage and wave that white flag, so be it."

Funeka, a former IBO world champion, has a 10cm height and reach advantage on his opponent, who stands at just 175cm.

Horn admitted Funeka's height could cause problems on Saturday but said he'd been working on evading jabs and hitting counter-punches.

"He can keep guys at range with his jab and once he's found them, he throws a right hand and usually it's devastating," Horn said.

Arum, for his part, said he and matchmaker Bruce Trampler would be closely watching Horn's fight for signs he could handle Pacquiao's speed and stamina.

A fight in the first three months of 2017 on US soil could introduce Horn to American audiences, before potentially facing Pacquiao later in the year.

"It would need a really good victory over someone like (welterweights) Tim Bradley or Jesse Vargas to bring him to the attention of the public," Arum said.

"Pacquiao is at a level where he only fights pay-per-view fights, so he'd have to take that initial step."

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