Filipino ring legend Manny Pacquiao returns to the boxing ring on July 2nd, 2017 to face young Australian Jeff Horn at the SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Legend Still Has It
Aptly dubbed as the Battle of Brisbane, the bout will be for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title, which he won after a masterful domination of Jessie Vargas last November. The 38-year old Pacquiao announced his retirement after the bout but despite being busy with his duties as a lawmaker in his country, the Pacman’s urge to fight will bring him to Australia for the first time in his boxing career.
Although Pacquiao should be well past his prime, he still proved that he still has what it takes to take on the best welterweights in the business. Prior to beating Vargas, Pacquiao masterfully out-boxed Timothy Bradley in April of 2016 to prove that he still belongs among the elite. The victory over Bradley was his first bout since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.
Jeff Horn is nowhere near the caliber of fighter Jessie Vargas is, much more Timothy Bradley. But unlike both, he presents a clear and present danger for Pacquiao simply because he is a wild card with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Horn is coming off a December victory over Ali Funeka and is considered the best pound for pound fighter in Australia. He has limited athleticism but has enough power to put his opponents to sleep. Horn is also a smart boxer who can counter well and dodge punches. Manny Pacquiao though is a giant leap in level of competition for the fighting former school teacher. This is an odd fight for Pacman because he is one of the biggest names in the sport and has nothing to prove. Yet he will be fighting an unknown but solid fighter on hostile ground.
Odds and Prediction
Pacquiao is currently a -700 favorite against Horn who is at +450. As we said, the unknown factor and home crowd are a big plus for Jeff Horn. Sometimes the biggest upsets happen when you least expect them. Horn may not be a world beater but given this opportunity of a lifetime, you’ll expect him to bring his A-game.
Beating Pacquiao is easier said than done though. Despite his advanced age, Manny Pacquiao looked in tremendous shape against Jessie Vargas. He was even the faster and quicker fighter than the two. Given Manny Pacquiao’s hand speed, footwork and ring IQ, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Jeff Horn. The Aussie is sometimes lazy with his footwork and against Pacquiao, that’s a recipe for disaster. Manny Pacquiao is going to run circles around Jeff Horn. He’s going to pound him with his famous four or five punch combos. It’s going to be dangerous fight, yes. Jeff Horn is a live opponent. But we think Pacquiao is eons better in skill and speed. We are picking Manny Pacquiao to win by unanimous decision after a little scare from Jeff Horn.