Veteran boxing judge Bruce McTavish believes Australian welterweight Jeff Horn has “no real talent” and would be no chance of beating Manny Pacquiao if their planned April bout goes ahead.
New Zealand-born McTavish, who has lived in the Philippines for the past 50 years, was ringside at Horn’s last fight, a sixth-round stoppage of South African Ali Funeka in Auckland on December 10.
“To tell you the truth, Horn is a very nice kid, former schoolteacher, clean cut, a good boxer, but he has no real talent,” McTavish told The Manila Times.
“He may have won by a knockout against the other guy and did it pretty well, but I think he’s too young and raw for Manny.
“Manny will knock (Horn) out three to four rounds and I guess it’s a mismatch. It’s a shame.”
McTavish’s scathing comments come at a critical time as Horn’s promoters continue talks with the Queensland state government over bringing the fight to Brisbane.
All parties want it to happen on April 23 at Suncorp Stadium, but it could be staged interstate or overseas if the required backing can’t be raised.
A decision on the location of the fight is expected by the end of the month.
Pacquiao, 38, is yet to sign off on the deal.
But his promoter Bob Arum is eager to take him on a world tour before his retirement and is an avowed fan of 28-year-old Horn, dubbed the ‘fighting schoolteacher’.
McTavish said Arum chose Horn over undefeated American Terence Crawford as Pacquiao’s next opponent for one reason: “Easy payday.”
“That fight, if it will formally push through, is definitely good for Australia because Manny is known all over the world wherever he goes.
“Horn has a good future but he’s not yet ready for somebody like Pacquiao – too premature. Pacquiao is a freak of nature.”