BRISBANE, Australia — A bespectacled man emerged from the ground floor elevator of the Sofitel Brisbane CBD clasping a white envelope and looking lost.
He scanned the lobby, took a few steps and then hesitated and went back to where he was moments earlier before a familiar face came up to see him and escorted him to the dining area.
Miguel Diaz, the legendary Argentine trainer cum cutman, blew into town Friday morning vowing to lend a hand in leading Manny Pacquiao to victory against undefeated Australian challenger Jeff Horn this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.
While the cornerwork will be the domain of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, assistant Buboy Fernandez and strength coach Justin Fortune on fight day, Diaz will be close by to perform his role in case something happens such as a clash of heads or even a legitimate punch opens up the Filipino.
But Diaz, 79, doesn’t think he will get the chance to showcase his talent.
Diaz, who now resides in Los Angeles, has been Pacquiao’s cutman the last few years and is not overly concerned about the task at hand.
“Novato (Spanish for rookie),” Miguel shot back when asked about Horn’s chances.
Diaz believes the scheduled 12-rounder will not go past six rounds, predicting that the fight will end within the first five rounds.
Unbeaten with a 16-0-1 win-loss-draw record, Horn is the massive underdog with Pacquiao tipped heavily to score his first stoppage win in almost eight years