Arum says Pacquiao vs. Horn could be next, not Crawford
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he wants his fighter WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) to fight #2 IBF, #2 WBO contender Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) in his next fight in the first half of 2017 and NOT Terence Crawford.
Arum doesn’t want Pacquiao to fight the 29-year-old Crawford next. Arum co-promotes Horn, who fought in the 2012 Olympics for Australia. It’s unclear if Arum is hoping to turn Horn into a star like he is with Crawford. But putting Horn in with Pacquiao will at least make him a bigger name like it’s done with Pacquiao’s past opponents like Tim Bradley.
By Arum saying he wants to match Pacquiao against Jeff Horn next, it pretty much dispels any chances of Pacquiao fighting Crawford. Last Monday, Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told the Manila Bulletin that Pacquiao has offered to fight Crawford next if he can get a $20 million guaranteed payday for the fight.
Pacquiao wanted the fight to take place by April though rather than June. However, it looks like Arum has his own ideas of who Pacquiao will be fighting. Whether Arum gets his way or not will be largely up to Pacquiao. If he defers to Arum to make the choice for him, then he’ll be fighting Horn. It’s obviously a terrible choice when it comes to U.S PPV sales in my opinion. How do you sell a fight between Pacquiao and Horn in the U.S?
Few boxing fans in the U.S have ever heard of Horn, and it probably won’t bring in a lot of PPV buys even if Top Rank markets the fight to the hilt. But if Arum is fine with Pacquiao bringing in 300,000 buys or possibly even less than that, then it would be his call. Pacquiao would be better off insisting that Arum match him against a well-known fighter like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Adrian Broner, Errol Spence Jr. or Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Even Amir Khan might bring in far more PPV buys than Jeff Horn would in the U.S. It seems like a really bad choice by Arum to pick Horn as Pacquiao’s next opponent. It reminds me of how Pacquiao wasted fights by facing Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Joshua Clottey and Tim Bradley [for fight No.3]. I think it hurts Pacquiao’s brand by fighting lesser known or non-popular fighters rather than the guys that are well known to the U.S boxing public. Of course, Horn is now co-promoted by Top Rank, so you can see why he’s suddenly an option for Pacquiao.
Arum said this to the Manila Times about Pacquiao not facing Crawford and how Horn is a possibility:
“There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first six months of the year definitely,” Arum said. “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.”
I can’t wait to see if Pacquiao agrees to fight Horn or not. If Pacquiao is going to make less money fighting Horn than he would if he fought someone else, I don’t know why he would ever agree to that fight? I think it was a huge mistake on Pacquiao’s part to agree to fight Bradley for a third time and for him to fight Arum’s Top Rank fighter Jessie Vargas. Neither of those fights did well on PPV, as you would guess. Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 brought in 400,000 buys on HBO PPV.
Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas brought in 300,000 buys on Top Rank’s PPV. When you look back in 2012, Pacquiao was bringing in over 1 million buys fighting guys like Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio Margarito, and Shane Mosley. Those numbers have dropped off a cliff. I think it’s the match-making that has hurt Pacquiao’s PPV numbers more than his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. or his lack of knockouts in the last eight years. When you’re being matched in stale fights against Rios, Algieri, Vargas and Bradley, I think it hurts your brand. The question is could Pacquiao have turned down those fights? If so, would he have sat on the shelf or would Arum have found popular fighters for him to face outside of his Top Rank stable?
Horn, 28, looks like a decent slugger. There’s nothing particularly great about him. He’s just a solid fighter. Horn would be a problem for a small welterweight like Bradley, but he would likely get mowed down by the stronger, more talented 140lb fighters like Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. There was talk of Horn potentially facing Spence if IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook vacates his title like many think he will. Horn vs. Spence would very likely be a mismatch with Spence destroying the Australian in two or three rounds. Horn isn’t very fast of hand, and he’s got a bad habit of slugging. He would be perfect for Spence to obliterate if that fight took place.
“Now that the New Year is over, I’m going to finalize a location, because we’re looking out for an opponent depending on the locations like in Australia, England, Middle East or maybe even in Mexico,” said Arum. “That’s what I want to do with the last period of Manny’s career. I want him to be known as a worldwide fighter.”
Arum has said it himself in the past that U.S pay-per-view sales are hurt when you fight outside of the country. If that’s the reality, then why would Arum want Pacquiao to fight in a foreign country? Who does that help? If Pacquiao is going to wind up making less money from a fight against a foreign fighter like Horn, then how does it help him by agreeing with Arum?
It does not make sense if you’re Pacquiao to agree to fighting out of the U.S against someone like Horn. Why should Pacquiao spend his last remaining fights trying to become a worldwide fighter? With Pacquiao wanting a $20 million guarantee to fight Crawford, it sounds to me like he’s focused on getting the most money he can for his fights. I don’t see how Pacquiao can get the most money if he’s fighting a guy that the U.S casual boxing fans have never heard of in Horn in a fight outside of the U.S.
Ultimately, it’s Pacquiao’s call on whether to agree to fighting the likes of Jeff Horn. You can argue that Pacquiao should have never agreed to the Jessie Vargas, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Joshua Clottey and the third fight with Tim Bradley. None of those fights many sense at all, because it was obvious to me going into them that they wouldn’t generate a lot of money.