Manny and the Horn of Plenty

By Robert Ecksel on April 8, 2017
Manny and the Horn of Plenty
It should be a master class from the master boxer-puncher from General Santos City.

“Horn is an Aussie,” said Arum. “There’s government behind it. They want the fight. They wanted Manny Pacquiao…”

On Saturday, July 2, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), the future Hall of Famer from General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines, defends his title against WBO #2 ranked Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs), the Fighting Pride of Brisbane.

Jeff Horn wasn’t Pacquiao’s first choice. It wasn’t the first choice of Amir Khan or Manny’s fans. But Jeff Horn was Bob Arum’s first choice, and while it’s an unusual choice, it’s reasonable to assume he knows what he is doing.

When asked if Horn could beat Pacquiao, Arum hedged his bets.

“I’m not really sure,” he said, “but he sure will give Pacquiao a good fight.”

Horn is undefeated. He has a 65 percent KO rate. His biggest win was over former WBO lightweight and IBF welterweight champ Randall Bailey in 2016. In his last fight Horn TKO’d former IBO welterweight champion Ali Funeka.

Horn took up boxing at the relative late age of 21. He won the Australian title as an amateur in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

He won the vacant Australian welterweight title in his only fifth fight. All of his fights have been in Australia and New Zealand. He is a local phenomenon fighting in his first world championship.

“My first world title fight against a legend of the sport—Manny Pacquiao,” said Horn, “bigger than I could have imagined. This is a dream come true for me. You have a lot of world title fights these days but this is more than that, it is on a premium level—he is one of those champions who has been around for such a long time in the sport and who has done it all.”

He has done everything except defeat Jeff Horn.

“We’re slowly finishing up the deal to fight,” Arum told the LA Times, “people have agreed on essential points.

“Paperwork takes time, particularly when it’s not the usual thing of getting it done in the United States. We’re dealing with an Australian promoter, the state government. … Here, in this case, you’ve got to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, and that’s what we’re in the process of doing.”

To those who think Jeff Horn is unworthy, Arum waved if off.

“Horn is an Aussie,” he said. “There’s government behind it. They want the fight. They wanted Manny Pacquiao. Essentially, to buy the cheese, they wanted Pacquiao against this Aussie fighter.”

The fight might not be a Pacquiao classic, there are many from which to choose, but it should be a master class from the master boxer-puncher from General Santos City.

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  1. nicolas 12:08pm, 04/12/2017

    While this will be a big fight in Australia, I think by Pacquiao not going after the likes of Thurman, and the winner of Brook-Spence, he is becoming an irrelevant figure in boxing. Mr. Wards writes that Horn is the #2 contender, but that is in the WBO. There are 10 men who should logically be ranked higher than him. Manny seems to be on a world Farewell tour.

  2. Levi C. Arabelo 02:43am, 04/09/2017

    Pacquiao was never cocky nor underestimate his opponents. This is contrary to the perception of Horn as reported or written by NZHerald. Horn will learn to admire Pacquiao humbleness and friendly demeanor when he meet the superstar and boxing legend. Good luck Jeff Horn, hope you will survive Pacquiao and came out healthy.

  3. Glenn Reynolds 08:35am, 04/08/2017

    I’m glad that an Australian gets the chance to fight Manny Pacquiao. Good luck to Jeff Horn. Hope he will have a good showing against one of the legends of the sport. His stock will surely soar if he does well.

  4. mil 07:13am, 04/08/2017

    i hope jeff horn will be okay after the fight.

  5. Lennon Wards 05:32am, 04/08/2017

    Give Horn a chance. Afterall, he is the #2 contender.

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