Horn vs Skeete odds (early): Manny Pacquiao and Australia take heedWritten by Lee Cleveland
Until last week, it was believed fight legend Manny Pacquiao would rematch Jeff Horn as the former had been expected to exercise his rematch clause. However, due to Manny's obligations in the Senate, the Pacquiao vs Horn rematch won't happen this year after all.
Earlier this week, several sources reported that WBO Welterweight Champion Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) could face 6'1" Brit Bradley Skeete (27-1, 12 KOs) on November 25. instead.
Hailing from the UK, Skeete would help give the bout international exposure.
Currently the No. 3 ranked welterweight by the WBO, the 29 year old is on a nine-fight win streak.
The Horn dilemma
Given the WBO won't have Jeff face a mandatory contender straight away, the onus is on Team Horn to find a safe opponent with an impressive resume. With the Pacquiao superfight likely for early to mid-2018, Team Horn shouldn't be taking any chances.
Would Jeff be taking a chance against Skeete?
Oddsmakers think so.
Horn vs Skeete odds
As of 9/9/17, several bookies have this fight as a near toss-up.
Both Paddy Power and betfair have Skeete at 5/6 and Horn at 10/11. Hence, there is no clear favorite at all. In fact, there seems to be a fine chance Skeete would be a light favorite come fight time should the bout materialize.
Taking a chance
Sans a presumably unprepared Pacquiao, Skeete has faced better opponents than Horn. Moreover, the 29 year old Brit is much taller and rangier and can bang a little despite only 12 KOs in 28 bouts.
What makes Horn so perplexing is that's he's undefeated yet still an unknown quantity. Yes, he defeated Pacquiao but it wasn't the same Manny we're accustomed to seeing.
Maybe Horn, somehow, didn't allow the real Pacquiao to manifest that night?
We'll know a lot more about Horn after his next fight.
Skeete could put a wrench in Pacquiao vs Horn 2 and Manny's future in general. Should Skeete defeat Jeff, Pacquiao vs Horn 2 would lose a lot of luster. At that point, would Manny face Skeete for the title, proceed with avenging his loss against Horn or throw his arms up and retire?
Should the Brit win, look for Manny to follow the money and face Skeete in the UK.
Manny Pacquiao would undoubtedly generate tremendous interest in a country where boxing is mainstream. Perhaps Pacquiao vs Skeete wouldn't be Klitschko vs Joshua or Froch vs Grover 2, but it would be a very big - and potentially very lucrative - event in the UK.
Another interesting nugget would be the height difference. Skeete is 6'1," seven inches taller than Manny. How would Pacquiao deal with a young, strong a fighter who is that rangy?
Team Pacquiao should follow Horn vs Skeete, should it happen, closely.
Pacquiao vs Skeete in 2018 anyone?