Horn to challenge Pacquiao in Australia. Promoters scouting more venues for better deal. Sydney, Melbourne emerge as serious challengers to Brisbane.

Horn Pacquiao title fight.

PICS Courtesy: Boxrec.com

PICS Courtesy: Boxrec.com

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Australia will host the World Boxing Organization’s welterweight title bout on 23rd April 2017.

The first challenge to the World Welterweight title held by Pacquiao will come from Jeff Horn. Jeff Horn, nicknamed The Hornet is at (16-0-1, 11 knockouts).

It seems that the next adversary for Pacquiao would be Terence Crawford.

Though the credentials of Jeff horn may not seem impressive he is the challenger chosen by Bob Arum himself.

The anticipation of huge crowds for the Hornet v Pacman fight is indeed huge. On 23rd April Filipino Manny Pacquiao, the World Welterweight champion will meet challenger Jeff “The hornet” Horn for the title.

The venue

The fight is to take place at Brisbane’s 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium on April 23, but promoters are still scouting around.

The biggest fight in Australian boxing history may well see a shift of venue. It is a big draw for the Filipino fans and Sydney is likely to snatch the bout from the Queenslanders.

In fact, shifting to another state may be an embarrassment for Brisbane’s Lord Mayer Graham Quirk who is Horn’s cousin.

However, there are quite a few logical reasons put forth by the promoters in support of a change of venue. They feel that:
1. This being the biggest fight in Australian history, it will be heavily subscribed to due to Pacquiao’s reputation,
2. There is a sizeable population of Filipinos in and around Sydney who will turn up in full strength. According to Arum, Pacquiao will be
stationed in Australia for many weeks,
3. The anticipation of this fight is so high that they do not require hosting the fight in Horn’s hometown just to get a heavier crowd’
4. The South Australian government had in an earlier fight provided millions in funds and may do the same this time around,
5. With so much at stake, the final factor to decide may be through bidding and choosing the host. Melbourne and Sydney are the strongest
contenders right now.

While some observers feel that the amounts expected are a bit in excess, the promoters do not agree.

Arum to the fore

The fight materialized as a result of the interest developed by the iconic boxing great Bob Arum. The promoter started promoting big fights way back in 1966 for Muhammad Ali. He bankrolled some of the biggest fights and is a force to reckon in the field of boxing.

He witnessed the Funeka – Horn fight ringside last month and espied a potential opportunity in Horn. Consequently, his agency Top Rank teamed up with Duco events of New Zealand to promote the match against Pacquiao.

In spite of misgivings in some quarters, Arum saw a huge marketing opportunity in US markets.

The 28 year old Brisbane school teacher remains unbeaten in 17 fights and would be a fit opponent for Pacquiao. The promoters are confident that he will put up a creditable performance against the champion that will boost his salability.

Horn taught physical education but had to give it up to follow the call of the ring. Observers feel that defeating Pacquiao might not be a distinct possibility but it would do wonders for his profile if he could manage that, it would catapult him to overnight stardom.

The manner in which he defeated Ali Funeka, the former champion from South Africa was impressive. He defeated Funeka in six rounds in the fight held in Auckland, New Zealand in December.

The fact that the whole world will be closely watching this fight is vital for his career prospects. This fight is a great opportunity for the soft spoken Australian boxer who may still tip the scales.

Even if he is able to stretch Pacquiao, he would have scored enough brownie points.

What Horn says

While Horn is highly appreciative of the fighting skills of Manny Pacquiao, he feels that he can win. He attributes his chances to a 10 year difference in age and his remarkable fighting skills.

Furthermore, his height advantage, though marginal, may better his chances against the Filipino Senator.

He feels that the 38 year old champion is not the same as he was and can be defeated now. Moreover, he also has the home crowd to boost and spur him on.
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Umrao Singh

Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Monday, 09 January 2017