Chasing Pac-Man: Can Jeff Horn beat Manny Pacquiao?

Justin Faux Columnist

By Justin Faux, Justin Faux is a Roar Expert

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    In April, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is expected to fight Jeff Horn, a former Brisbane-based PE teacher, in sunny Queensland.

    During Pacquiao’s unofficial retirement tour over the past year, promoter Bob Arum has been attempting to rebuild the 38-year-old for a lucrative rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr

    The Hall of Fame-inducted carnival barker, whose resume includes 26 Muhammad Ali bouts, has arranged two high-profile matches for his pay-per-view poster boy since the disastrous loss to Mayweather – a trilogy fight against Timothy Bradley and a WBO title bout against Jessie Vargas – two opponents he defeated with little resistance.


    Since then, there have been rumblings about future opponents for the Filipino Senator. Terence Crawford has built the strongest case for a date with the 67-bout veteran, but it’s the worst kept secret in boxing that Team Pacquiao wants no part of that match-up.

    “There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first six months of the year definitely,” Arum told The Manila Times.

    “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.”

    The unbeaten 29-year-old is an incredibly dangerous opponent for Pacquiao and would jeopardise the plans for a second multi-multi-million dollar bout against Mayweather.

    Moreover, Crawford isn’t a box office attraction anywhere near the level of Pacquiao. In his only effort on pay-per-view fight against Viktor Postol, the fight sold a paltry 50-60,000 units.

    Instead of biting on the high risk, low reward fight, Pacquiao is taking on Horn – a fighter with even less of a profile internationally than Crawford.

    The fight, which is expected to be finalised to take place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on April 23 as early as this week, represents the opportunity of a lifetime for Horn – to fight a true icon of boxing in his own backyard.

    So, can ‘The Hornet’ sting ‘Pac-Man’? I doubt it.

    Horn is basically just another warm body for the former eight-division world champ to beat up on. The ‘fighting school teacher’ is exciting, but flawed – the perfect type of opponent for Pacquiao to exploit over 12 rounds.

    In his last fight, a cruisy win over Vargas, Pacquiao captured the WBO welterweight title and showed that his speed, power, and technical prowess is still too much for anyone outside of boxing’s elite.

    Granted, Horn is taking on Pacquiao in his waning years as a fighter – not the destroyer that iced Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales, and Miguel Cotto – but the ‘fighting school teacher’ has plain and simply never faced anyone on Pacquiao’s level. Not even close.

    Horn’s team has done their part to allow the promising fighter to mature as a boxer, giving him increasingly harder tests along the way, but the 28-year-old needs more seasoning before he can slay the Filipino dragon.

    It’s the biggest fight of Horn’s life, and one of the biggest boxing matches to ever take place on Australian soil. If this were a movie, a battered-and-bruised Horn would come from behind to flatline the multi-weight champion.

    But this isn’t a movie. This is real life. And in real life, Horn will be lucky to steal two rounds from ‘Pac-Man’.

    Justin Faux
    Justin Faux

    Justin Faux is a seasoned combat sports scribe. Covering mixed martial arts and boxing since 2007, Justin has been published on NineMSN Australia, Fox Sports, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and dozens of other outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @justinfauxmma.

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • Roar Guru

      January 16th 2017 @ 10:28am
      BigJ said | January 16th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      This really is a win-win-win, Horn gets to fight one of the best fighters in the world and surpass Mundine and Green for opponents status, Brisbane gets to host one of the biggest fights in Australia boxing history, and Pacman notches up another win before hopefully taking on Mayweather again (thats is if Mayweather has the guts????) Everybody wins here there will not be a loser.

      • January 16th 2017 @ 2:51pm
        Ben said | January 16th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        This will be the first world class fighter Horn has fought BigJ… His resume has nothing on Choc and Fanny.

        Oh, and the “if Mayweather has the guts” thing… ???

        • Roar Guru

          January 16th 2017 @ 4:04pm
          BigJ said | January 16th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

          You know its all enterainment value mate, but as we discussed earlier today, pacman will no doubt kill Horne and leave him on the canvas by about round three (if he is feeling generous). As for Choc and Fanny, Choc chased Mayweather for a couple of years and never even got close to a fight with him and Danny Green records speaks for himself, as we said he fought an over the hill Roy Jones Jr and then fought Briggs…. enough said. Atleast Horne will have his crack at the big time.

    • January 16th 2017 @ 2:53pm
      Ben said | January 16th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

      Great article. Although, the fight won’t go 12 rounds. Pacquiao will get his first ko for quite some time. It’s all a matter of “how bad” Horn gets beaten, really.

    • January 16th 2017 @ 7:32pm
      Mike from tari said | January 16th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

      I reckon Horn will give him a real good fight, watching Horns improvement in his last few fights, he is not a one dimensional boxer, he throws punches from all angles & his reflexes are so good he sees most of the punches coming & avoids them, if the PAC man treats him lightly it could be lights out for the Pac man.

      • January 16th 2017 @ 8:51pm
        Ben said | January 16th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

        Horn is a very good domestic fighter. But hasn’t been tested on the world stage at all. He’s yet to fight any welterweight that’s in the top 50 welterweights world wide. You legit couldn’t get a bigger jump in class.

      • Roar Guru

        January 16th 2017 @ 8:55pm
        BigJ said | January 16th 2017 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

        Without doubt if you underestimate your opponent you will end up on the canvas, but pacman is no fool, he would be studing the crap out of horn’s style, a man of his experience will not take any fight lightly

    • January 16th 2017 @ 8:39pm
      Rudy said | January 16th 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

      First of all Arum and his matchmakers have said Crawford isnt ready for Pacquiao and this version of Pac will still be too good for Bud. Secondly, its about entertainment and drawing people to arenas and Crawford cant draw bums into seats or viewers to the TV. Pacquiao fought only twice in 2016 and sold 800K PPV, Terence had 3 fights and only sold 38K PPV. Arum is a smart business man. in 2016, Pacquiao was the PPV king, he even crushed Canelo by 300K.

      • January 31st 2017 @ 7:09am
        Rabbits said | January 31st 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

        Bud mightn’t be a big draw but this home boy, in my opinion, can beat the 2017 version of Pacquiao (points or late stoppage). That’s why Pac is taking a easier fight on his farewell tour and besides his star power is waning.

    • January 30th 2017 @ 3:18pm
      Darren Mc said | January 30th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

      If this fight happens – and thats a BIG if the following will occur:

      Rds 1-2 – Lots of probing, soft punches and little flurries without much intent.
      R3 – Jeff scores a couple of strong combos which clearly connect but do not risk a Pacquiao KO
      R4 – Pacquiao positions Horn, then delivers a one-punch KO straight to the chin.

      Post fight – Manny hints he has a healthy shoulder again, hence the return of his KO power and that he wouldn’t mind a chance to avenge his sluggish performance against Pretty Boy Floyd – Cue Fight II speculation

      • January 30th 2017 @ 4:26pm
        Ben said | January 30th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

        Tell ya what Daz! You’re not far off the mark! The only difference i would say will be that Horn will struggle to land any punches at all, then become target practice for the much faster and powerful Pacquiao.

      • Roar Guru

        January 30th 2017 @ 11:12pm
        BigJ said | January 30th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

        I agree with lairdy on this one, your not far off the mark, I think that would be pretty actuate to want would happen. But as previously stated the fight is not signed yet so not point getting ahead of ourselves

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