By Chris Williams: Jeff Horn’s promoter Dean Lonegan doesn’t appear to be interested in holding him back from taking on the best fighters in boxing. Lonegan is mentioning Crawford and Spence as possible options in the future for the 29-year-old Horn, who ripped away Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title last Saturday night in a fantastic performance in beating the 38-year-old Filipino star by a 12 round unanimous decision in front of over 51,000 fans at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
The first order of business for Horn in his next fight is to potentially face Pacquiao in a rematch. Lonegan says Pacquiao may exercise his rematch clause in his contract to fight Horn again. If so, then the fight will happen. If Pacquiao doesn’t choose to make that move, Horn’s options are unbeaten talents Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford.
Lonegan isn’t sure if Crawford will be moving up to welterweight soon, but he remains an option. It would be a tough fight for Horn due to the mobility, counter punching and the boxing skills of the 30-year-old Crawford.
Crawford would need to rough Crawford up for 12 rounds and stay close to him if possible for him to impose his huge size advantage over him the way he did against Pacquiao. Crawford rehydrates to the 150s, so it wouldn’t be quite as easy for Horn to maul him in the same way he was doing against Pacquiao.
“Round 9, I was really worried,” said Horn’s promote Dean Lonegan to IFL TV. “We now got a new star on the world boxing scene. Manny Pacquiao has a rematch clause that he wants to execute. Crawford maybe wants to move up to welterweight. Who knows? Errol Spence Jr. can really fight. He’s fantastic. Jeff can take any challenge,” said Lonegan.
Horn facing Spence and Crawford would be huge fights. Horn would be showing some courage if he takes those fights. I think Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is going to have him fight Horn at least 3 times in a row. There will be the rematch, of course, and then Arum will almost surely start talking about the need for a rubber match. Arum matched Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez 4 times, Tim Bradley 3 times, Erik Morales 3 times and Marco Antonio Barrera 2 times. Pacquiao would likely still be fighting Marquez if the Mexican star hadn’t said enough with the rematches. Arum wanted to make a 5th fight between them. These are in house fights. With Horn co-promoted by Arum, I could see him putting the two together 3 to 5 times. Lonegan would need to insist on moving Horn along to start facing other fighters after the second Pacquiao fight. If Lonegan leaves the match-making up to the 86-year-old Arum, I see him putting Pacquiao and Horn together 3 to 5 times. I think Arum might have Pacquiao or Horn fight someone like Tim Bradley or Jessie Vargas in between their fights, as both guys are with his Top Rank stable. I don’t see anyone good being matched against Pacquiao or Horn while they’re going back and forth fighting each other. Personally, I’d like to see Horn move on after the second fight with Pacquiao. I just don’t know if that will happen, given the history of the way Arum does his match-making.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Jeff Horn is a star in the boxing world yet, as Lonegan maintains. You don’t become a star by winning a close and some would say controversial decision like the one Horn won. You’ve got to make it more decisive in the eyes of the boxing public. I scored the Horn-Pacquiao fight 9 rounds to 3 in favor of Horn, but there are a lot of fans that saw it as a flat out robbery in Australia. Horn is a long ways away from being a star. He’s seen more as a guy that was given a gift decision by the judges that worked the bout. To become a star, Horn will need to beat these fighters:
– Manny Pacquiao [without controversy]
– Errol Spence Jr.
– Danny Garcia
– Keith Thurman
– Terence Crawford
– Shawn Porter
– Amir Khan
– Lucas Matthysse
– Adrien Broner
– Jermell Charlo
– Kell Brook
– Jarrett Hurd
– Demetrius Andrade
– Erickson Lubin
– Erislandy Lara
I included some of the top junior middleweights, because Horn appears to be a true 154lb fighter rather than a welterweight. Horn is boiling down to make 147, but in looking at how big he was last Saturday, it’s pretty clear that Horn is a junior middleweight. That’s one of the main reasons for his success against Pacquiao.
If Horn had been normal sized welterweight, I think he would have been easily beaten by Pacquiao. It was Horn’s weight advantage that allowed him to do well. I don’t know how much longer Horn can continue to make 147 though. I’d be surprised if Horn is still fighting at 147 in two years from now. I don’t think he’s going to be able to make the welterweight limit within 2 years. That’s why it’s important that Horn cash in right now while he can still make the 147 pound weight limit by him fighting Pacquiao, Spence, Crawford and Thurman.
Unfortunately, I don’t see the Spence and Thurman fights happening. Horn is co-promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank, and I do not believe he’s going to be inclined to want to match Horn against non-Top Rank guys like Spence, Thurman, Broner, Khan, Porter or Danny Garcia. So instead of those great fights, I see Arum keeping Horn fighting Pacquiao for 3 to 4 times, and then facing Top Rank fighter Crawford for 2 to 3 fights.
By the time those fights are all done, Horn will be in his 30s, and I suspect he’ll have lost a number of times. I don’t know how relevant Horn will be if he gets beaten five or six times in the next two years. Horn did extremely well in beating Pacquiao, but the rematch is going to be different. Pacquiao now knows how to get the better of Horn by putting his focus on high volume punching like he did in round 9. You can safely assume that Pacquiao will be looking to duplicate that round by attempting to throw over 100 punches in every round against Horn.
Pacquiao is capable of doing that when he wants to. Can Horn stay together against a Pacquiao that throws 1000 punches? That’s the major question. I think it would be tough for Horn or any fighter in the welterweight division to withstand a 12 round fight against Pacquiao with him throwing over 1000 punches. If Pacquiao is going to be landing over 30 percent of his shots, which means you’ve got to take over 300 hard shots to the head. I think that would be tough for Horn or anyone.
Horn will need to try and limit how many punches Pacquiao can throw in the rematch. The best way to do that is for Horn to mug Pacquiao by ramming him with his head, and then shoving him around the ring to force him against the ropes like he was doing last Saturday in Brisbane. Pacquiao will be trying to make sure he doesn’t let Horn maul him.
Pacquiao is going to be using movement and he’s not going to let Horn get him against the ropes. Pacquiao doesn’t repeat mistakes in his rematches with his opposition. He generally improves. That means Horn is going to need to find another way to beat Pacquiao. I don’t think he’s going to be able to impose his size nearly as well as he did last Saturday. Horn may need to try and box Pacquiao.
If Horn can use movement and his powerful jab, he might be able to box Pacquiao and win another decision. That’s what I would be recommending him to do in the second fight. Horn should forget about trying to rough Pacquiao up against. I don’t think that’s going to work nearly as well as it did previously. It could work against Horn if he tries to make that move, because Pacquiao could use the opportunity to belt Horn with combinations.