Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is pretty excited about his fight on July 2 against the 29-year-old Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), who he’s giving a chance to pull off an upset against the “Pacman” at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
With Horn fighting in front of his own fans, which could number as many as 50,000, Arum says he won’t be as nervous as he would be if he were fighting in the U.S.
Arum believes Horn will be relaxed enough to have a real chance of winning the fight to pick up the World Boxing Organization welterweight title from the 38-year-old Pacquiao.
Horn does look like a very good fighter for obscure guy. He might be able to pull off the upset and come out of nowhere to shake up the boxing world in the same way IBF light welterweight champion Julius Indongo did on Saturday night with his win over WBA champion Ricky Burns. However, based on Horn’s last 2 fights against 43-year-old Randall Bailey and 38-year-old former lightweight Ali Funeka, I’d say the chances of him pulling off an upset of Pacquiao are virtually zero. Both of those old timers knocked Horn down. That doesn’t mean that the 85-year-old Arum is wasting his time trying to build up the career of Horn.
Arum could still eventually position Horn for more title shots in the future even if he gets beaten by Pacquiao. I don’t know if Horn will ever win a real world title, but he might if Arum can keep positioning him against his own fighters for the WBO 147lb title that gets passed down from one Top Rank fighter to another.
“I watched Horn’s last fight ringside in New Zealand and he’s a very capable young man,” Arum said to The Sunday Mail. “If his fight with Pacquiao was in Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York I wouldn’t give him much of a chance because I think nerves would take over against a fighter like Manny. But the fact Jeff is going to be fighting in front of so many of his countrymen will calm his nerves and I think he will give a great account of himself.”
It’s unclear whether Arum is serious about his belief that Horn has a chance of winning. He’s an experienced promoter, and he should have an idea of who can fight or not. Pacquiao would have to have really done downhill for Horn to win this fight, because the Australian is not that good of a welterweight. He’s probably got a great story that interests Arum, but you have to have the goods to beat Pacquiao. Horn hasn’t shown that kind of ability yet as a pro. Horn did fight in the 2012 Olympics for Australia, but he was eliminated after 2 wins over easy opposition from Zambia and Tunisia.
Horns’ management came up with the money to get Pacquiao to come down to Australia to defend his WBO title, but that doesn’t mean that Horn is going to win the fight. It just means that Pacquiao is coming down to Australia to fight him on his own home turf. Pacquiao is mentally strong enough to fight in a home fighter’s stadium without it causing him to go to pieces mentally the way it might do against a novice fighter or someone that was weak mentally.
“I’ve been in this business 51 years and I have presided over some tremendous upsets,” said Arum. ”Manny is a big favorite but in boxing, anything can happen and I have seen a lot of big upsets in my time.”
I don’t think a lot of boxing fans from the U.S are going to buy what Arum is saying about Horn having a chance against Pacquiao. The problem that Arum has in trying to market the Pacquiao-Horn fight is he was in too much of a rush to make the fight. Arum made the fight before he built Horn up in the U.S by matching him against some of his other Top Rank stable fighters. Arum had talked last year of wanting to match Horn against his Top Rank fighters Jessie Vargas and/or Tim Bradley to build up his name before matching him against Pacquiao in 2017. Arum didn’t do that.
Horn was instead matched against 43-year-old Randall Baily and Ali Funeka. Those are not well known fighters with the casual boxing fans, and they’re not considered top welterweights. So by rushing the Pacquiao-Horn fight without building up Horn first, Arum is left trying to talk up Horn’s chances by saying how good he is. You can’t build up a fight like that.
That’s backwards way of building up a fight. Arum might as well saying nothing at all, because he’s not going to be able to convince the casual boxing public to buy the Pacquiao-Horn fight, because it’s a terrible match-up. It’s even worse than Pacquiao’s last 2 fights against Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley, and those were really poor matches made by Arum.
Hughie Fury’s management wants to move Joseph Parker fight from Auckland, New Zealand to the UK
Challenger Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) was supposed to be facing WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) for his title on May 6 at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. However, Fury, 22, reportedly doesn’t like the idea of traveling to New Zealand to fight the champion Parker in front of his own fans in New Zealand.
Fury and his management are said to want to move the fight to the UK. However, for them to be able to move the fight to the UK, they’re going to need to come up with the money to get it made. The Vector Arena has already been scheduled for the Parker-Fury fight, and tickets are being sold. It would be a real disappointment for the boxing fans that purchased the tickets if the fight is moved to the UK with less than 1 month to go before the fight.
It remains to be seen if Hughie’s backers can come up with the money needed to move the fight to the UK. The bad news is there’s less one month to go before the Parker vs. Fury fight on May 6. It would have been better for Hughie’s team to get the venue taken care of buy now instead of taking it down to the wire to start trying to move the fight. If Hughie is concerned about his chances of getting a fair decision in fighting Parker in his home country of New Zealand, then he probably should have gone in another direction towards fighting WBC champion Deontay Wilder or IBF champion Anthony Joshua.
There was a slight bit of controversy surrounding Parker’s last fight against Andy Ruiz last December. Parker won the fight by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision, but there were many people in the boxing world who thought that Ruiz deserved the victory. I thought Ruiz should have won, but it was a terribly bad decision.
I had Ruiz winning by 4 rounds over Park. But when you fight in another fighter’s hometown, you’ve got to mentally see it as a situation where you’re starting out 6 rounds behind. As long as the visiting fighter knows what he’s up against in trailing right from the start, they should be able to rally and possibly win the fight or least get a craw. In Hughie’ situation, he might not see the final bell, because Parker’s a big puncher and will likely knock him out well before the distance on May 6.
If Hughie’s backers aren’t able to come up with the money to move the Parker fight to the UK, then he’s just going to have to go ahead and fight in New Zealand. If Hughie does a good job in losing, it’ll still raise his stock in the boxing world. Look at Ruiz Jr. His stock didn’t drop from his loss to Parker. It could be the same situation for young Hughie as long as he doesn’t get beaten too badly by Parker.
It’s really hard to know how well the 6’6” Hughie do against Parker because he’s only fought one decent level opponent in his entire career in Fred Kassi, and he didn’t look at all good against him last year in April. Hughie has been out of the ring for an entire 1-year period. That’s a long time to be out of the ring when you’re about to challenge for a world title.