Pacquiao says he doesn’t know who Jeff Horn is
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s career is arguably ending slowly in a sad way for the former eight-division world champion with him facing one non-star after another in pay-per-view fights that the boxing fans have little interest in purchasing in high numbers. Pacquiao is expected to fight someone named Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) next on April 23 at the Suncorps Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Horn is someone that Pacquiao’s 85-year-old promoter Bob Arum wants him to fight next. Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) says he doesn’t know who Horn is, and he’s never seen his face. Despite all that, Pacquiao still wants to fight in Australia.
”I don’t know him,” Pacquiao said about Horn to Fox Sports News. “I’m hoping that the fight is in Australia. I’ve love to do that. In my previous fights, many of them are saying they will stop me, they will knock me out. It’s not happening. He needs to prove that in the ring. I didn’t see his style. I haven’t seen his face yet. I don’t know.”
For a senator in the Philippines not to be familiar with an opponent that his promoter Arum is so eager for him to fight, it’s troubling. You would think that Pacquiao would have enough curiously by now to have turned on his computer and gone to Youtube so that he could see some of the fight videos of the 28-year-old Jeff Horn. Pacquiao could have asked Arum or some of his assistants to dig up some videos of Horn’s past fights. After all, Pacquiao is the one that has to make the decision whether to fight him or not. Is there a decision to be made for Pacquiao or is this a slam dunk by Arum for the fight to take place?
You would think that Pacquiao would want his promoter Arum to pick out better opponents for him to fight than someone like Horn, who has been dropped in his last two fights by aging fighters 43-year-old Randall Bailey and 38-year-old Ali Funeka. Anyone can be dropped, you might argue, but when you see a young fighter in his prime being dropped in consecutive fights by older fights, it looks bad.
Pacquiao has enough popularity and pull to say no to a fight against Horn if he wanted to. Why would he agree to the fight if he doesn’t know who Horn is? Would Floyd Mayweather Jr. ever take on someone that the boxing public in the U.S had never heard of? I think not.
It was hoped by many boxing fans that Pacquiao’s career would end with a bang with him finishing strong by facing the likes of Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Terence Crawford and Saul Canelo Alvarez. Instead, Pacquiao is facing Jeff Horn, Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas. Those are very disappointing choices in this writer’s opinion.
Fighting Bradley had it’s place and time for Pacquiao in 2012 and 2014, but by 2016, it was too late in the game to be going back to him as an opponent. That was a tired fight that had no reason to take place. Pacquiao’s fight against Jessie Vargas was even more pointless after the way he’d been schooled by Bradley.
A loss for Pacquiao against Horn might be a show stopper to the Filipino fighter’s boxing career. I don’t think he’ll want to stick around after getting beaten by Horn, and wind up looking wretched in losing to one Arum fighter after another with him in the final days of his career. It would be a sad way for Pacquiao to end his career in fighting all the Top Rank fighters that Arum wants him to with him losing to pretty much all of them.
If Pacquiao gets past Horn, he could be fighting Terence Crawford later this year. That’s not a given that the fight will take place. Arum mentioned Crawford as a possible opponent for Pacquiao. Assuming that Pacquiao is letting Arum make all the decisions for him at this point in the remainder of his career, then I would expect Arum to stick Pacquiao in with Crawford later this year to see if he can help his career.
I think Arum’s next move would be to take the likely beaten Pacquiao and stick him in with super featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko for a fight. I don’t think the Pacquiao-Lomachenko fight will bring in good PPV numbers, but it’s unclear whether Arum cares about that at this point. I think it’s more about Pacquiao helping Arum’s fighters become bigger names by him fighting them. It hasn’t worked in the past to increase the popularity of Arum’s Top Rank fighters when they fought Pacquiao, and I don’t see it helping in this case either.
If Arum wants Crawford, Lomachenko, and Vargas to become stars, then they need to take on the younger welterweight fighters like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner and Errol Spence, and prove that they can beat them. Losing to a smaller fighter like Lomachenko, would make Pacquiao look especially bad in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
Pacquiao is a politician as well, and he can’t be sticking around in a sport and getting beaten repeatedly. I think if Pacquiao loses to Horn or Crawford, he might be better off retiring rather than sticking around and then being matched against the likes of Lomachenko or put in more rematches against Bradley or Vargas again.
Facing no names like Horn in fights that won’t sell on PPV makes you wonder how much money Pacquiao is getting from the site fee for the fight in fighting in Australia. It must be a lot for Arum to be thinking of taking this fight rather than matching Pacquiao against a popular and highly skilled welterweight.
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