WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2) is in Australia to face the challenge of undefeated former Olympian Jeff Horn (16-0-1) this Saturday (July 1, 2017). As we enter fight week, Pacquiao is a comfortable favorite at -570, with Horn returning an underdog price of +435 at Several Bookmakers.
The fight has been talked about for a long time, and it appeared to be on the verge of happening earlier this year, but most boxing observers still question whether Horn will have what it takes to challenge “Pac-Man.” Horn deserves credit for stepping up, and the Australian promoters also deserve credit for putting together the package to attract Pacquiao. Their pay-off is a no-brainer, because if Horn wins, it gives him a world title a and a major introduction to the top tier of boxing.
Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum talked last year about a “world tour” in 2017, and that is exactly what they are doing, taking Pacquiao to new markets where his name still resonates and cashing in at the end of a long career. Pacquiao is still with longtime trainer Freddie Roach, who snapped into character and described Horn as a real “potential challenge” to Pacquiao. Yawn, as very few people believe that to be the case. Pacquiao has been followed by talk that he is old and past his prime for several years now, but his recent outings against Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas have shown he can still fight at an elite level.
So this is another fight that will tell a lot about what the 38-year-old Pacquiao has left at this point in his career. Physically, he has shown he is back and injury-free in recent performances. But at some point, the mileage on him may start to show. Arum shrewdly put together the idea of this “world tour” to try and keep Pacquiao motivated, and there are potential bigger paydays ahead if he can just keep pulling the train of his career forward another year or two.
Horn is 29 years old, and any way you slice it, this is the fight of his career. Duco promotions has teamed him up with WBO world titlist Joseph Parker of New Zealand on previous cards, but those will pale in comparison to the hype that Pacquiao brings. What Horn has to do is avoid being star struck, and he also needs to show that he is hungrier than his opponent at this point and time.
The fight takes place on Sunday local time in Brisbane, so check your local listings for Saturday start times in the United States. A second world title is on the line too, as IBF world super flyweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas defends his belt against Teiru Kinoshita of Japan (25-1-1). The co-promotion between Australia’s Duco Events and American company Top Rank have put some gloss on the undercard with Irish Olympian Michael Conlan facing his third challenge as a professional, and Shane Mosley Jr. — the son of future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley — is scheduled for an eight-round bout as well.
Suncorp Stadium – Brisbane, Australia – ESPN
Welterweight – 12 rounds
Jeff Horn +425 o9½ -200
Manny Pacquiao -550 u9½ +170
Super Flyweight – 12 rounds
Teiru Kinoshita +1100
Jerwin Ancajas -2000
Light Heavyweight – 10 rounds
Umar Salamov -2000
Damien Hooper +1000
Super Bantamweight – 6 rounds
Michael Conlan -11000
Jarrett Owen +3000
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