Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
By: William Holmes
In rather surprising news in the month of June, Top Rank announced a partnership with ESPN to showcase some of their fighters on the network in live fights. HBO has long been the home for most of Top Rank’s fighters, but this announcement indicates that Top Rank is willing to go elsewhere to televise fights.
Top Rank has decided to showcase their biggest draw, Manny Pacquiao, on ESPN on July 1st live from SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time in over a decade that Manny Pacquiao will not be fighting on PPV.
The undercard will feature several prospects that boxing fans should be keep an eye on. Prospects such as Brock Jarvis, Umar Salamov, Shane Mosley Jr., and Irish Olympian Michael Conlan are all scheduled to compete.
The following is a preview of the WBO World Welterweight Championship match between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao.
Jeff Horn (16-0-1) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2); WBO Welterweight Championship
Jeff Horn is not very well known in the United States, but he is the mandatory challenger for Manny Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight Championship. Even though he will be a massive underdog, one can not overlook the fact that he will be fighting in front of his home crowd of Brisbane, Australia and that 60,000 screaming fans can only help him.
Horn has an edge on most of the physical intangibles. He is twenty eight years old and ten years younger than Manny Pacquiao. He will also have a three inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage. The speed advantage obviously lies with Manny Pacquiao, as does the power advantage. Jeff Horn has eleven stoppages against B level opposition while Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight opponents, including some over the best the sport of boxing has to offer.
Jeff Horn has fought every single fight in his career either in Australia or New Zealand. He’s been very active and fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Four of his first seven opponents had losing records, but despite the fact he’s never faced elite competition every one of his opponents since then has had a winning record.
Horn also has a notable amateur background as he made it to the quarterfinals in the 2012 Summer Olympics while representing Great Britain. Pacquiao, as is well known, was able to make the Philippine National Amateur Team but turned professional at the age of sixteen.
Horn’s most notable victories have come against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller, Viktor Potnikov, and Randall Bailey. It should be noted that Horn got knocked down by Bailey, but was able to recover and have Bailey quit on the stool during round nine.
Pacquiao seems intent on taking his show around the world and is already looking past this fight to fight in the Philippines in his next bout. Australia will be the sixth country that Pacquiao has competed in.
Pacquiao has defeated the likes of Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.
His losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erik Morales, and losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Pacquiao is a giant favorite and this is probably why the bout will be taking place on free television instead of pay per view. However, Jeff Horn has a better chance of beating Pacquiao than McGregor has at beating Mayweather.
Additionally, Pacquiao is thirty eight years old and has been in some brutal wars inside the ring. A boxer can age overnight and that age often shows against an opponent that nobody expects to win.