Jeff Horn vs. Anthony Mundine fight possible
By Chris Williams: With Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) saying he doesn’t have time in his busy schedule to face WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) in a rematch in November, Horn’s co-promoter Dean Lonergan is going to discuss with Pacquiao’s promoter’s at Top Rank the possibility of matching Horn against 42-year-old former 2-time super middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (47-8, 27 KOs).
Mundine, who hasn’t won a fight in 3 years since 2014, recently called out the 29-year-old Horn for a fight. Like Horn, Mundine is Australian, and he’s been a big pay-per-view fighter in that country over the years despite the fact that he hasn’t held a world title since 2008. Australians have still been willing to pay to see Mundine fight regardless that he’s not been a major player on the world scene for at least 9 years.
“I find it surprising Anthony thinks he can get in a ring with Jeff Horn but it would be a nice tune-up fight for something bigger,” said Lonergan to Fightnews.com. ”Jeff’s got to keep fit and keep fighting and you never know in boxing. He is contracted to Top Rank for big fights on TV in the United States. Who knows what will happen?”
The question is will Horn’s co-promoters at Top Rank be pleased at putting him in with a non-Top Rank fighter like Mundine, who would have a considerable height and size advantage over him? Former 2 division world champion Jessie Vargas has been mentioned as an option for Horn to fight in November. Vargas is one of Top Rank’s stable fighters, so it would help the promotional company if they matched their own guy against Horn rather than a fighter outside of the company like Mundine. Of course, it would be good for Top Rank to work more with other promoters because they can’t isolate their fighters to facing just guys from their own company if they want to turn them into stars. The days of putting together 3 to 4 rematches would seem to have passed. The boxing fans get tired of seeing the same guys matched against each other repeatedly year after year. Mundine at least is new blood, and it would play out well in Australia.
Mundine has looked terrible in losing 3 out of his last 4 fights to Danny Green, Charles Hatley and Joshua Clottey in the last 3 years. Mundine’s last win came against Siarhei Rabchenko in winning a controversial 12 round split decision on November 12, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Rabchenko fought well enough to deserve the win, but he was he visiting fighter and he didn’t do enough to impress the judges.
One thing that could make the Horn-Mundine fight difficult to put together is the weight for the fight. Mundine fought his last fight at cruiserweight on February 3 against Danny Green. For Horn to be able to defend his WBO welterweight title, Mundine would need to strip off a considerable amount of weight to get down to the 147 lb. limit to fight Horn. It’s doubtful that the World Boxing Organization would give Horn the green light to freeze his WBO 147 lb. title so that he could take a money fight against Mundine in Australia at 154 or even 160.
If Mundine does have to come all the way down to 147 to fight Horn, he’s likely going to be a zombie at the weight by the time the fight takes place. Yeah, Horn will likely easily win the fight, but it would be a potentially bad product for the Australian boxing fans and for the U.S fans that watch the fight on ESPN. Would U.S fans want to take time to watch Horn, a fighter they’re not familiar with, face another obscure fighter they’ve never heard of in Mundine? I doubt it. Mundine is well-known in Australia and among the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S, but he’s totally unknown to the casual fans in the States. Horn isn’t that much better off.
Some U.S boxing fans tuned in to watch Pacquiao’s fight against Horn on July 2 on ESPN, but a lot of the fans didn’t bother watching the fight. Horn did not fight well. He was lowering his head and ramming Pacquiao like a giant Billy goat throughout their fight, and cutting him twice. Horn fought a really dirty fight in my opinion. I saw a lot of head-locks, pushing and head-butts from Horn. It looked like something you would see in watching an old fight from the 1920s when the officiating was less than stellar. Horn didn’t fight well enough to where the U.S boxing fans will be clamoring to see him compete again. He’s no another Gennady Golovkin. His style seems more like an MMA type fighter, but less skilled.
There’s more money in a fight between Mundine and Horn than there would be in a Horn-Vargas fight, but will Top Rank let Horn fight someone outside of their stable? I doubt it. I think they’ll want their own fighter Jessie Vargas to be the one that faces Horn instead. So, no matter who wins that fight, the WBO welterweight title would stay with a Top Rank fighter. The winner of the Horn vs. Vargas fight would then face Manny Pacquiao in 2018.
“I’ve beaten all the old generation so I may as well move on to the next,” Mundine said via Fightnews.com. “If Jeff wants to make some good money, he’ll need to fight me. Let’s do it.”
If would definitely be more money in it for Horn to face Mundine than it would be for him to face Jessie Vargas.
Terence Crawford is also someone that Top Rank might want to face Horn. Crawford is with Top Rank, and Bob Arum, the boss of Top Rank, was hoping to match him against the winner of the Pacquiao vs. Horn 2 rematch. Now that Pacquiao is out of the picture with him being busy with his senatorial job in the Philippines for the remainder of 2017, it’s quite possible that Arum could push to have Horn fight Crawford now.
Crawford would likely easily beat Horn, and Arum could then try and get Pacquiao to fight Crawford when he’s available to fight. If Pacquiao chooses not to fight Crawford, Arum would likely be stuck matching Crawford against Vargas. I don’t think it works out well for Arum if he makes the Horn vs. Crawford fight now. Crawford isn’t a star, and it wouldn’t be nearly as big a fight as a rematch between Pacquiao and Horn.
Even matching Horn against Vargas brings a certain amount of risk for Horn. It’s not a big money fight, and Horn could lose. Vargas vs. Pacquiao 2 would be a joke in the U.S. The first fight between them brought in only 300,000 buys on PPV. A rematch between Pacquiao and Vargas on ESPN would likely bring in low numbers. Vargas is not a big name. He’s just a guy that lost to Tim Bradley by a one-sided 12 round decision and then lost to Pacquiao. He’s with Top Rank, and that’s about the only thing he has going for him. Arum would be better off letting Horn face Mundine, and then after he beats the aging 42-year-old fighter, the Horn vs. Pacquiao 2 fight could be made. Pacquiao still wants the rematch against Horn in the Philippines though, so it’s unclear whether that fight can be made.