Nothing To Prove: Why Manny Pacquiao CAN Fight Jeff Horn
Is Pacquiao vs. Horn Legit?
Manny Pacquiao is set to face Australian slugger Jeff Horn April 22nd in Australia. Many fans are criticizing the 38-year-old boxing legend for choosing such an unknown opponent for a pay-per-view bout, and the fighter himself has stated that he just now found out who Jeff Horn is.
Stop with the harsh criticism. First and foremost, Pacquiao is one of the all-time great fighters; he has nothing to prove. Manny’s best days are way, way past him, and he knows that. This is the same man that started out at light flyweight (108 pounds) and eventually went on to knock out Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto back-to-back-to-back. In those days, Pac-Man was fighting one future Hall-of-Famer after another. Pacquiao is an offensive fighter that has always relied on speed, power, and sheer athleticism to get the job done.
Roy Jones Jr., a legend in the sport and arguably the fastest champion ever, hit a fairly steep decline by his mid-30s. By the time Mike Tyson reached his mid-30s he was certainly going downhill. “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler retired before he was 33. It is also worth noting that smaller fighters do not age as well (in general) than bigger ones.
Will he end up fighting a top contender at 140 or 147? I don’t know. Is it fair to continuously call him out for fighting Tim Bradley again, Jessie Vargas, and a guy like Jeff Horn? I don’t think so. Pacquiao is a full-time senator and has shown that he is indeed committed to his job in the Philippines. The vast majority of top-level fighters of ANY age would have trouble doing what Manny does on top of boxing.
Lastly, consider that Jeff Horn is no pushover. For what it’s worth, Horn is ranked #11 in the world at welterweight by BoxRec.com (ahead of guys like Andre Berto and Chris Algieri) coming off of his victory over Ali Funeka and he is the #2 contender in the WBO welterweight rankings. Is he really near the Top 10 in the strongest division in boxing? Of course not, but he is in the next level below. Horn is a tough, durable fighter (with solid power) who will have a decent size advantage over Manny, as well as a 10-year age advantage.
Should Pacquiao vs. Horn be a pay-per-view fight? Probably not. But when you consider Pacquiao is still the second most popular boxer on the planet, will be fighting in Australia (most likely), and the fact that each fight could be his last, it does not sound nearly as unreasonable. There have also been talks of Pacquiao facing the likes of Kell Brook, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, or even the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman later in the year. The fight makes sense for Manny; he’ll be getting a decent amount of money for nothing more than a tune-up.
What do you think of Pacquiao vs. Horn? If you disagree with any of my statements, comment below!
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