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We can beat Pacquiao, says Horn's trainer

AAP logoAAP 10/12/2016 Vince Rugari

Jeff Horn's trainer says he already has the blueprint to beat Manny Pacquiao should a blockbuster fight with the Filipino legend eventuate next year.

Rising Australian welterweight Horn scored the biggest and most significant win of his burgeoning career on Saturday night, stopping South African veteran Ali Funeka by technical knockout in the sixth round of their clash at Auckland's Vector Arena.

With Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum watching from ringside and millions around the world watching on TV, it was a victory that will open lucrative doors for Horn.

Next up is a likely battle with either Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley, two other world-class fighters in Arum's Top Rank stable, in the US early next year.

Win that - which Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton is supremely confident he will - and a meeting with Pacquiao is very much on the cards.

"Based on what Bob Arum's saying, I'm taking Bob Arum at his word and if Bob Arum is right, next up it's Vargas or Bradley, and bring it on," Rushton said.

"We'll take whichever one we get. That puts him on the map and puts him in line for Pacquiao, and I want Pacquiao before he retires.

"To be a legend, you've got to beat a legend, and I want Jeff to beat a legend.

"The only legend left now that Floyd Mayweather's gone is Pacquiao. I know how to beat Pacquiao. We can beat him."

The win takes Horn's professional record to 16-0-1 and though he clearly dictated terms against the lanky Funeka, there was a scare late in the third round when the referee ruled a controversial knockdown.

Replays showed it was a clash of heads and not a body shot from the South African that rocked the 28-year-old former schoolteacher, who promptly recovered and closed out the fight in brutal style.

"Jeff did what I asked him to do. He got hit with a couple but I know how tough he is. You can hit him with a sledgehammer and he'd keep going," Rushton said.

"It doesn't bother him at all, mentally, when Jeff gets hit. That's the difference.

"The same as when he got hit by (Randall) Bailey, he came back and won the round.

"It's like 'Wake up, Jeff' - we think we're back in the Wiggles. It's no problem at all. He did the job beautifully in the end."

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