Manny Pacquiao could be facing unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) in April if his promoter Bob Arum gets his way. Arum is looking to finalize the fight between the two Top Rank fighters.
Arum likes the idea of matching Pacquiao against the 28-year-old Horn, who fought in the 2012 Olympics for Australia. It’s a calculated move on Arum’s part in matching Pacquiao against Horn, because it’s not a fight that will likely do well on PPV in the United States. Some boxing fans see this move as a way for Arum to create a new star for his stable in Horn.
I don’t know if that’s possible though. Horn didn’t look so great in his fight last year against 42-year-old former two division world champion Randall Bailey in their fight in April 2016. Baily dropped Horn in the 3rd round with a right hand to the head. Horn was able to survive the round, but only beat Bailey did nothing to try and follow up and finish off the badly hurt fighter.
Arum is said to like Horn’s image of being a well-educated, clean-cut fighter. However, I don’t think the boxing public cares about all that kind of stuff. The cans care about whether a fighter is any good. Horn looks decent, but getting knocked down by Bailey shows you the limits of Horn’s talent. You can argue that Horn is another Chris Algieri. Arum was really impressed with Algieri’s background of being a well-educated fighter with two degrees. It didn’t help Algieri when he got inside the ring with Pacquiao though, as he was soundly beaten by a 12 round unanimous decision in their fight in 2014.
“There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first six months of the year definitely,” said Arum to the manilatimes.net. “Only if the fight will be in the United States but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States, so we’re also not planning on Crawford now. Jeff Horn is a good possibility. I will be flying soon to the Philippines once I finalized every detail.”
It’s thought that Arum is saving Terence Crawford for the last fight of Pacquiao’s career. Pacquiao might have already priced himself out of the Crawford fight by asking for $20 million for a guarantee for the fight. I don’t think Arum is going to pay him that kind of money for a fight against Crawford.
With Pacquiao’s PPV numbers down in his last two fights, largely due to the less than inspiring match-making that’s being done for him by Top Rank, a fight against Crawford might not bring in enough PPV buys for Pacquiao to get the $20 million that he’s asking for. It’ll depend on Arum. If he thinks a win for Crawford can turn him into Top Rank’s next PPV star, then he might be willing to give Pacquiao the money he’s asking for.
Pacquiao might not get past Jeff Horn though. This is a young kid with a lot of size and good punching power. Horn would likely be destroyed by the good welterweights in the division, but he could have enough talent to beat the aging 38-year-old Pacquiao.