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Arum needs Pacquiao’s agreement for Horn fight on Apr.22

By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has an agreement from #2 IBF, #2 WBO Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) for a fight against Arum’s money fighter Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) on April 22 at the 52,000 seat Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Arum is now waiting for Pacquiao to approve the fight, according to RingTV.

The fight might not be shown on pay-per-view in the U.S, however. Arum wants it to be shown on free television. It’s unclear how many millions Pacquiao would lose by agreeing to fight Horn rather than a popular fighter that the U.S boxing fans care about.

Arum still plans on matching Pacquiao against Top Rank fighter Terence Crawford in late 2017 if Pacquiao is still fighting. If Pacquiao loses to Jeff Horn, then I think it’s very likely he’ll retire. In that case, Arum will have made a major blunder by electing to have Horn be the one that got the shot against Pacquiao in April instead of Crawford.

Looking at it logically, it makes all the sense in the world for Pacquiao to fight Crawford in April instead of Horn. It’s a better deal for Arum, because Crawford has the greater potential to become a star in the boxing world than Horn. With Pacquiao looking so old now and not fighting that great, I don’t think it’s worth the risk of putting him with Horn rather than Crawford next.

I frankly don’t see Crawford ever becoming a PPV attraction, but that’s beside the point. Horn will never become a huge star in the U.S in my opinion. He’s not skilled enough. I don’t believe for a second that Horn or Crawford or going to be transformed into starts by using Pacquiao as stepping stone for them to get a bigger name. If that’s Arum’s idea for why he wants to match them against Pacquiao instead of popular fighters that can make him a lot more money, then I don’t see it working out well at all for either of them.

“Hopefully Manny is still around by the end of the year,” said Arum to, “and Terence will get up to bat.”

Well, while Arum’s at it, he should trot some more of his Top Rank fighters out for them to “get up to bat” against Pacquiao. I don’t like that phrase very much from Arum. “Get up to bat” against Pacquiao? That sounds not good to me. If the 38-year-old Pacquiao is going to be a person that fighters “get up to bat” against, then Pacquiao should at least insist that he faces only popular guys for the remainder of his career instead of guys like Horn, Jessie Vargas, Crawford and Bradley.

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I’m talking REALLY popular. That means no Crawford, no Horn and no more fights against Tim Bradley. Pacquiao should be fighting the popular welterweights, not guys like Horn, Jessie Vargas or Crawford. I do not understand any of those fights. I don’t understand Pacquiao agreeing to fight Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Joshua Clottey or a third fight against Bradley. None of those fights made sense to me. Pacquiao should look for the biggest names possible for the last fights that he has left, and I do not see Horn, Crawford, Vargas or Bradley as being the biggest names.

Will the Pacquiao-Horn fight make Pacquiao a lot of money? There would be some money from the gate for the fight if they sellout the Suncorp Stadium, but what the loss of PPV money? If the Pacquiao-Horn fight is sold in the U.S on HBO PPV or Top Rank PPV, will the fans purchase it in high numbers? Pacquiao’s PPV buys have been deteriorating lately in his last two fights. Pacquiao went from getting 4.6 million buys for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in May 2015 to bringing in 400,000 buys for the third fight against Tim Bradley in April of 2016.

Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas brought in 300,000 buys. Those are big drop offs in buys, but what do you expect. Putting Pacquiao back in with Bradley for a third time was a bad idea. The fight was overdone and played out from the first two times they fought each other. Putting Pacquiao in with Vargas was a bad idea, because Bradley had whipped Vargas easily in 2015 in winning every round buy the 12th.

It’s also unknown how much money Pacquiao would lose by fighting on regular cable without his fight being shown on PPV. If Pacquiao agrees to fight the 28-year-old Horn, it could be a double whammy with him losing money on both ends unless Arum has some plan on the fight making money from the Australian side.

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There’s talk of the Pacquiao-Horn fight taking place in a large stadium in Brisbane, Australia. However, even if they filled the stadium, it wouldn’t be a fight that would create interest in the U.S. Arum is said to be co-promoting Horn now. Arum must see something in Horn for him to want to put him in with Pacquiao, because it doesn’t seem like a great idea to make this fight.

If you want to maximize Pacquiao’s revenue for each of his last fights, putting him in with Horn would seem like a rotten idea. Of course, if you’re coming at the fight with the objective to turn Horn into a big name, then it makes sense. I think Horn is going to become a big name though. At best, he might be a replacement for Tim Bradley, who is within two fights from retirement. There are some guys that Horn and beat in the 147lb division, but I don’t see him ever being able to beat the good fighters like Errol Spence Jr.

Arum said this to about Horn agreeing to fight Pacquiao on April 22:

“We have an agreement with Horn but it’s all subject to Manny’s approval,” Arum said. “And it’s all subject to getting a site. So it’s still up in the air but it looks like it’s headed (with a bout with Horn).”

I don’t know why Pacquiao would ever agree to a crazy idea like this for him to fight a no name like Jeff Horn on April 22. It’s bad enough that Arum wants Pacquiao to fight someone that few U.S boxing fans have ever heard of, but then to fight him in his own country of Australia and on free television. Why would Pacquiao ever put himself in that kind of position? I think it would be foolish for Pacquiao to agree to such an odd move like this.

They say that Arum wants to turn Pacquiao into a worldwide star in the time that he has left in his boxing career. If Pacquiao would agree to this, he would be following in the footsteps of the great Muhammad Ali, who fought outside of the U.S. frequently in the last seven years of his career. Still, I don’t see it as a good move for Pacquiao to be fighting a young kid in his own country, especially someone that isn’t well-known.

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If Pacquiao doesn’t care about money anymore, then I have no problems with him fighting Horn. It still wouldn’t make sense fighting him in Australia. Why do that? Why turn Pacquiao into a worldwide star if he’s about to retire? It seems to me that this is a move that should have been made earlier in Pacquiao’s career so that they could take advantage of Pacquiao’s worldwide popularity to monetize different countries.

With Arum working with Horns’ promoters, I think it helps him if Pacquiao fights Horn, but I don’t think it helps Pacquiao. Why would it help him? You’re fighting a guy that the U.S casual boxing fans haven’t heard of before, and you’re potentially fighting him in his own country if you agree with Arum to have you fight Horn over there. It’s bad news if you ask me if Pacquiao says yes to the fight. I would never agree to the fight in a million years if I were Pacquiao.

I’d tell Arum, ‘No thanks. I’m not interested in Horn. Can you find a popular fighter for me to fight for a change? I’ve just fought Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas. Now I’d like to fight a popular guy so I can make some money. I don’t want to fight anymore non-popular fighters like the ones you’ve been matching me against lately.’

Seriously, if Arum wants to match Horn against somebody, he should feed Jessie Vargas or Tim Bradley to him over in Australia. Arum should put his Top Rank fighters in with Horn in an assembly line fashion by first having Jessie Vargas fight him, then Tim Bradley, Viktor Postol and finally Terence Crawford. If Horn is still unbeaten after all of those fights, then Arum might have a little star on his hands. If Horn gets beaten by all of those guys, which is what I think will happen, and then Arum can forget about him and focus on signing talented fighters to his Top Rank stable.

If Pacquiao makes the mistake of agreeing to fight Horn, then it’s on him if he winds up potentially losing a controversial decision in Australia in front of Horns’ fans, and it’s on him if the fight fails to make any money. Pacquiao had the chance to turn the fight down and insist on Arum matching him only against popular fighters.

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