Manny Pacquiao (-500) vs. Jeff Horn (+333), Draw (+2000)
Australian welterweight Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KO) is in for the fight of his life when he takes on boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) on Sunday, April 23rd. The fight’s location is still being decided, but it looks like it will either take place in Horn’s home country, or the United Arab Emirates.
It’s an interesting choice for Pacquiao, who had the entire division clamouring for a shot at the aging WBO welterweight champion. There were talks of fights against big names like Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, or even a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. But instead, the future Hall of Famer will be taking on a relatively unknown fighter.
Since his loss to Mayweather in 2015, Pacquiao has had two easy victories. The first was against Timothy Bradley, who he had already fought twice, and the most recent was an easy win against Jessie Vargas. Both bouts failed to generate much excitement and it showed in the PPV numbers.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao does not have the strength to end fights like he used to. Every win he has had since 2010 has been via decision. Pacquiao has developed a style that caters to what he still has: his speed and movement.
Along with his age, Pacquiao is also serving as a senator in the Filipino parliament. That means the aging star is unable to devote himself to the sport like he used to.
Perhaps that’s why he picked a fight against Horn, an inexperienced fighter who has not fought outside of Australia or New Zealand. The 28-year-old may be undefeated in 17 bouts, but he’s yet to fight a notable opponent.
So this is a great opportunity for Horn, who is looking to gain exposure internationally. As boxing legends Anthony Mundine and Danny Green approach retirement, the Australia looks to Horn to assume the mantle.
But Pacquiao remains one of the greatest welterweights alive today, despite his age and outside commitments. The Filipino hero may not be the fighter he once was, but he still has the speed and technical ability to overwhelm his opponents.
Pick: Manny Pacquiao (-500)
Photo credit: “Manny Pacquiao With His Trophy” by Michael Howard, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.