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Pacquiao’s proposed new opponent is Jeff Horn says Pugmire

Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Amir Khan was ruled out as Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent by promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday. Arum said he has a new proposal for a different opponent for Pacquiao to fight in his next bout in July. Arum didn’t say who the name of the opponent is, but according to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, it’s Jeff Horn. In other words, it’s old proposal by Arum. Horn, 28, is the fighter that Arum was looking to match Pacquiao up before he went in a different direction towards fighting Khan. Pacquiao did that after he created a 4-fighter poll on his Twitter account, and Khan came in No.1 in the poll and Horn at No.4.

”I’m hearing the new proposal for Manny Pacquiao is likely the old one: Jeff Horn. Ugh..,” said Pugmire.

Pacquiao can reject the Jeff Horn fight and tell Arum to find someone else. It’s up to him. If Horn is the best that Arum can do in terms of finding Pacquiao a money fight in time for his next fight in July, then he would he be turning down the best payday available to him if he says no to the proposal.

Horn isn’t known to the U.S boxing fans, but a fight against him would still make money due to the pay-per-view from his home country of Australia. There obviously isn’t any U.S fighters in the welterweight division that would be able to bring in a large pay-per-view audience against Pacquiao at this time. Arum’s focus on Jeff Horn as Pacquiao’s next opponent would seem to be aimed at his ability to bring in PPV money from Australia and New Zealand.

“Koncz will meet with Manny, and if he accepts it, we’ll go ahead. If he doesn’t, there’s nothing we can do,” said Arum to the
Arum co-promotes Jeff Horn. He originally spoken of wanting to match Horn against Pacquiao in 2017 after he first matched the Australian against either Jessie Vargas or Tim Bradley. Neither of those fights ever happened. Instead, Horn was put in against 38-year-old Ali Funeka last December, a fight in which Horn won by a 6th round knockout. Arum sees Horn as having movie star looks.

“The kid is not only a terrific fighter, but he looks like a movie star,” said Arum about Jeff Horn to “He’s articulate and a former school teacher. We’re going to call him ‘The fighting School Teacher,’” said Arum.

It sounds like Arum wants to create a name for Horn. By putting Horn in with Pacquiao, he would be speeding up the pace of turning him into a big name in his native Australia at least. Horn probably won’t become a big name in the U.S by beating Pacquiao, because the fans realize that he’s nearing the end of his boxing career at 38.

Arum says Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz checked on the $38 million offer from an investor group in the UAE, and it wasn’t for real. Arum had predicted that it wouldn’t be a credible offer ahead of time.

In speaking about the Pacquiao-Khan fight, Arum said this to the

“When they contacted me, I told them it was pie in the sky, that this is crazy, it’s not going to happen,” Arum said. “Manny wanted to roll the dice. He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes. If something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. That deal is done for now. [Pacquiao and Koncz] were talking to the wrong people.”

Khan is still a possibility for Pacquiao for later on in 2017, according to Arum, but it would be “with realistic numbers.”

Why Arum doesn’t want to just go ahead and make the fight with Khan and Pacquiao right now is the magic question. The fight is still a great one for the boxing world even if the $38 million was supposedly no real. Why doesn’t Arum still try and make the Pacquiao-Khan fight? Going back to the guy that he was originally trying to make a fight with in Jeff Horn, it gives the appearance to some that Arum really wants the Pacquiao-Horn fight and isn’t eager to make the Pacquiao-Khan fight. To be sure, Khan isn’t one of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters.

It would have been better if Arum had started building Horn’s name last December by matching him against Jessie Vargas or Tim Bradley like he had been talking about. At least if he had done that, a fight between Pacquiao and Horn might interest some U.S boxing fans. That’s if Horn didn’t get beaten by Bradley or Vargas. It would be interesting to know why Arum didn’t match Horn against Vargas or Bradley. Did those fighters turn him down?

This is what Arum to ESPN last December about him wanting to match Horn against Vargas or Bradley:

“As far as I am concerned, if Jeff Horn is successful against either Vargas or Bradley early next year, Pacquiao is a real possibility after that for this kid,” said Arum.

It sounds like Pacquiao is in the role of being a stepping stone for Jeff Horn. I don’t see why Pacquiao would ever agree to being put in that role. It’s the exact same situation for Pacquiao if he were to fight Terence Crawford. Pacquiao would be the stepping stone for him too. Arum should use his other Top Rank stable fighters Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas as opponents for Horn and Crawford to increase their popularity in the boxing world. Better yet, Arum should match Horn and Crawford each other. Viktor Postol would be a good option for Horn as well.

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