One of boxing’s all-time greats will be on free television this Saturday evening when Manny Pacquiao faces Australian former Olympian Jeff Horn on ESPN.
The card will also feature IBF Super Flyweight Champion Jerwin Ancajas in his second title defense, plus light heavyweight prospect Umar Salamov.
The main event is the real show, of course, so let’s take a look at it.
Name: Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao
Record: 57-5-2, 38 KO
Last Five Fights: Jessie Vargas (UD), Tim Bradley (UD), Floyd Mayweather (UD Loss), Chris Algieri (UD), Tim Bradley (UD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Juan Manuel Marquez (2x), Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera (2x), Erik Morales (2x), Lehlo Ledwaba.
Name: Jeff “The Hornet” Horn
Record: 16-0-1, 11 KO
Last Five Fights: Ali Funeka (TKO-6), Rico Mueller (TKO-9), Randall Bailey (RTD-7), Ahmed El Mousaoui (UD), Alfredo Rodolfo Blanco (UD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): None
There’s nothing to specifically dislike about Horn’s style. He’s aggressive and has both speed and power in his hands. There’s just absolutely nothing about his game that would make one think “wow, how is Pacquiao going to deal with that?”
Horn brings nothing to the to the table that “Pac-Man” hasn’t seen and overcome already during his long career. Even Pacquiao’s visible decline isn’t enough add intrigue to this matchup. He’s still faster and too savvy a combination puncher to get caught by anyone short of generational talents like Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The way to beat Pacquiao is to exploit his tendency to leave himself open mid-exchange. Horn is not equipped to do so and his primary tactic, straightforward assault with a healthy dose of body work, has been attempted by many standout Pacquiao foes without success.
If a near-prime Miguel Cotto couldn’t do it, I have my doubts that an untested prospect, even one with an Olympic background, can.
There aren’t even any out-of-the-ring shenanigans to make things interesting. To quote Gag Halfrunt’s assessment of Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox, Horn’s “just zis guy, you know?” He got dropped by a past-his-prime Ali Funeka and has offered no pithy comments of note.
I fully expect Horn to come out swinging and give us several round of quality action, but this is a dance Manny has done many, many times. He feeds Horn straight lefts and machine gun combos until “The Hornet” goes down.
Prediction: Pacquiao by eighth-round TKO
Source:: mma mania