Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, July 2, 2017
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Weight Class: Welterweight
Titles: WBO Welterweight Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Manny Pacquiao, 59-6-2 (38 KOs), General Santos City, Philippines
Jeff Horn, 16-0-1 (11 KOs), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Betting Odds: Manny Pacquiao -1175, Jeff Horn +650
Boxing great Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring on July 2 to take on unbeaten Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao is now 38 and at the tail-end of an illustrious career that has him listed among the best of all-time. In 2016, he scored two conclusive wins over Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas, which sandwiched a very brief retirement. He takes to the road to open his 2017 against the unbeaten Aussie in Jeff Horn. The 28-year old is assuredly an up-and-coming contender, but is he up to the task of beating one of the most-talented champions of all-time?
This fight looked to be a go on April 23, before word came out that Pacquiao was negotiating to fight Amir Khan. That apparently fell through, with the Pacquiao camp revisiting this fight. The Horn camp was amenable and the fight in now on again. It was already a random matchup that had zero clamor and for it to be on/off/on makes it seem even less-desirable from simply a fan's standpoint. That doesn't mean it's not interesting from a bettor's standpoint, Let's see what we can come up with for Pacquiao vs. Horn.
Jeff Horn will never come close to the accomplishments of Manny and that's not meant to a be a dig. They're just a different caliber of athlete. The obvious daylight in that equation for Horn is that he can exploit the mileage and age of Pacquiao. He is fighting at home and is an ambitious and capable fighter. But the choice of Horn is both random and specific. No one was asking for this fight. But if looking for a lucrative stay-busy fight for Pacquiao, he fits the bill—undefeated, marketable in his home-country, and clearly beneath the level of a fighter who can compete with a mega-champion of Pacquiao's level.
As far as the age and mileage angle that Horn will be looking to exploit, it's not completely without merit. Fighters and even great champions often times bottom out in sudden and stunning fashion. It's not always easy to see coming, even though it's a fate that very few boxing greats have been able to avoid. Most of the time, it's an underdog who deposes of the more-esteemed fighter. By the same token, those collapses were usually precipitated by some telltale signs. Other than his KO loss to Marquez over four years ago and some mild signs of age, Pacquiao is stunningly close to his peak for a champion whose world title background stretches back nearly 20 years. In 2016, he was sharp against a pair of quality opponents in Bradley and Vargas.
While Pacquiao's longevity is something to marvel, we can't completely disregard the mileage on the Filipino great. At the end of the day, there just aren't many fighters in the annals of the sport who were able to thrive this long after first appearing on the world stage. With all the tough opponents he has faced, in addition to the constant rising in weight, Pacquiao has really gone for the gusto in his boxing career and no fighter is immune to the affects.
When you get picked to face Manny Pacquiao, it means you're a good fighter. Horn is unquestionably a good prospect, though he lacks the talent to be a serious threat to Pacquiao. Horn is fundamentally-sound, with good speed and power. But whatever firepower he has, Horn is still a Ford to Pacquiao's Ferrari. And just like someone who has a Ford in a race, Horn's only hope is that the Ferrari has some engine trouble. This isn't meant to besmirch Horn. If not put in this context, one would be inclined to say he's a good fighter with a bright future. When forced to elevate in class by several levels, you're forced to take a more-discerning look. When using that measure, we don't see anything exceptional about the young Aussie. Presumably, neither did the Pacquiao camp and that's why Horn is here.
Taking a jump in class is one thing, but Horn meeting Pacquiao at this stage in his career is a quantum leap or sorts. Horn's best wins are against aging former champions Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka. He has some wins over fighters with good records, but most of those guys were not nearly as fearsome as their won-loss marks suggested. He hasn't really beaten a good prospect or a solid contender yet, never mind an 8-division world champion.
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If really looking to call this fight what is really is, it sure seems like a money-grab for Pacquiao. And if he continues exploring exotic locales to fight, there are still people who will pay him a pretty penny to showcase his wares against local talent, however woefully unprepared they might be. And there is nothing really wrong with that and no one in their right mind would turn down $20M for what should be easy work. But at some point, the combination of age/mileage and fighting without a hunger-motivated ambition could catch up with a fighter like Pacquiao. Fighters like Horn could have their Rocky Balboa moment at his expense. For a fighter who has seen all the things Pacquiao has seen, it might be hard to get pumped up about Jeff Horn, who conversely, will be looking at this like a chance of a lifetime. And that's how you see so many results throughout history where young ambitious fighters beat vastly-more talented opponents. Youth, motivation, ambition, and hunger are actual weapons to have in a prize ring and Horn is hoping those things all manifest on April 23.
The odds to win leave us with little room to work, especially for those of us skeptical of Horn's chances. The closer to fight night, we will see a total and that might be where the real value exists in this spot. Pacquiao hasn't scored a stoppage win since TKO'ing Miguel Cotto in the 12th round in 2009. But Horn's inexperience at this level and wth Pacquiao looking to make a statement, a position on the "under" could be the best move on the board. Again, we want to see what the price and the round is, but let's look for a good spot on "under." I think Pacquiao should finish this inside of eight rounds.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on the "under" in the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!