Manny Pacquiao, 59-6-2, 38 KO defends his WBO welter title down under in the topsyturvy world of Australia this Sunday, July 2nd against Jeff Horn, 16-0-1, 11 KO @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland. That would be late AM hours in Oz as opposed to 11 PM US east coast time working through the time zones to the US west coast 8 PM time. Yes, such time zone warps are the bane broadcast programmers, but such is the modern age we live in.
As we can see, Horn looks to have not only advantage of youth, but that of size, well, except for the massive fist Pac sports. Pacquiao also has a massive number of rounds in the bank, 443 compared to Horn’s 94 professional rounds, but as we all know how ye olde boxing saw goes, Manny could also turn old overnight with all that wear and tear.
The usual hue and cry of derision echoes around the boxing world when when Manny or any acclaimed fighter doesn’t fight the fighters certain fans demand no matter the improbability of the impossible details unknown to them. And let’s face facts, Horn is scarcely known outside of Australia, but make no mistake, this a fighter behind that school marm background. In the last three years, the collective record of those 10 opponents has been 240-29-7 that averages to a 24-3-1 record when they fought him. And of those ten fights, Horn notched 6 KOs, so clearly he’s not one to pussy foot around the business end of boxing. He’s 29 years old, the traditional peak of athletic prime years, and is solidly experienced even if lacking championship experience. Though unranked by Ring, his Boxrec ranking is impressively #12, and Boxrec rankings are comprehensively inclusive of ALL of boxing and less biased because they are coldly formulaic without blind passions that “boxing experts” bring to rankings.
Trainer, Glenn Rushton, taught Horn in a sort of philosophy of fighting, an unpredictable boxing style he calls “broken rhythm pressure fighting.” Don’t know if such is an original idea or an old one put into modern terms for modern fighters, but I could see evidence of a very unique style Horn used to systematically take apart the still powerfully formidable and experienced Randall Bailey, a 3x champ, end result being he retired on his stool after the 7th round. Bailey had been down over half dozen times, a couple of KDs mixed in with obviously weakened legs leaving him off balance and skating around disastrously on thin ice.
Some good background info where Horn admits to being more nerd than natural fighter, so had to be molded much like Gene Tunney. Manny on the other hand, though of course taught at a high level, was a natural born fighter much like Jack Dempsey or Roberto Duran.
That said, most think Manny dispatches Horn easily, perhaps notching a KO denied him in a couple of previous fights because of illicit maneuvers by dubious referees. Let’s face it, more and more refs are giving extended long counts as much as 20 or more seconds, plenty of time for fit fighters to recover, so let’s expand on that fitness theme. Manny signs his opponents about 4 months in advance that gives them extra time to train with an extended training camp needed to have any chance against Manny and do proper promotional preparations. Compare to the typical Al Haymon fighter like TUE 49-0 or Deontay Wilder who play TBA fighters off each other until the last minute before signing them for peanuts with insufficient time to train for a big fight. Although the rules of boxing were originally designed to provide fair officiating of fights, backroom skulduggery as often as not still has a place at the table of these shady fighter teams.
Horn is a ring centered fighter using angles and nifty footwork for his offense and defense, not the modern contemptible run and duck and stink style that has regrettably led to the sinking of American boxing. So all in all this promises plenty of fan friendly action, and more importantly, since it will be on a late Sunday morning in Australia, it’s gonna be on ESPN, not HBO PPV. 60,000 crazed Aussies are expected to pack Suncorp Stadium for the fight!
Manny’s Uncle Bob says he’s staging a world tour for Manny, ostensibly to expand his worldwide profile even more than it already registers off the charts in advance of his anticipated Filipino presidential run in the coming years. As such, this may well be the last year for the 38 year old Manny who had a perfect attendance record in the Philippine senate before his last fight.
So why not have the fighting senator go up against the fighting teacher on the world stage? Both could bring home some honor to those professions currently under fire for long standing, seemingly intractable problems born largely of the the political system they operate in.