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Pacquiao vs Horn predictions, observations: Experts unleash

Lee Cleveland Updated
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On Saturday night, fight legend and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) faces a relative unknown in Jeff Horn (16-0-1 record, 11 knockouts) in the main event of a fight card that will be broadcast live on ESPN, stateside.

Is Pacquiao vs Horn a tune-up for the 38 year old star?

Answer: Yes and no.

Pacquiao is a big favorite Horn in what some are calling the biggest fight in Australian boxing history.

On paper, Horn isn't a major threat but he's 16-0-1 and a top contender. Moreover, he's young and can bang. Thus, Manny shouldn't look past the Aussie and it would behoove him to be in top form because everyone is a threat to some degree at this level.|

So, what are the experts saying?

Pacquiao vs Horn predictions and observations

Tim Bradley: Three-time Pacquiao opponent, is a former two division world champion has been regarded as a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter for the better part of the last 5 years.

"I know how he feels right now, he's scared out of his mind. He is out of his element," Bradley, a four-time world champion from California, told reporters on Friday as reported by BoxingScene.com.

"Jeff (is) young, not a whole lot of experience, in the fight of his life, 50,000 people, there's a lot of pressure riding on him."

"But if he can put all of that aside, go in there and fight his gameplan... don't be reckless, and don't be dumb. Be smart.(If he can do that) he has a good chance of winning the fight. He has to hurt Manny Pacquiao with that big right hand he has."

"At first you watch him on film but when you actually get in there and fight him, he's actually faster than you saw on film, his footwork is a lot quicker, he's a lot smarter."

"He's very deceiving. He's a legend for a reason and even at the age of 38 he still has all of his wits.

Observation: Edge to Pacquiao but Horn has a better chance than many think, especially if the latter can land his right hand cleanly.

Calling the fight on ESPN
Joe Tessitore, Teddy Atlas and elite-level former Pacquiao rival Timothy Bradley.

Bruce McTavish: Boxing referee and former amateur boxer who has officiated several Pacquiao fights as well as a recent Horn bout.

“I was one of the judges when I saw Jeff Horn won by knockout against an African opponent during an IBF (International Boxing Federation) event last December. To tell you the truth, Horn is a very nice kid, former schoolteacher, clean cut, a good boxer, but he has no real talent. He may have won by a knockout against the other guy and did it pretty well, but I think he’s too young and raw for Manny,” McTavish, 76, told The Manila Times.

“Manny will knock him (Jeff) out three to four rounds and I guess it’s a mismatch. It’s a shame. Horn has a good future but he’s not yet ready for somebody like Pacquiao—too premature. Pacquiao is a freak of nature. He only needs six weeks to get into a tough shape and that’s very fast.”

Prediction: Pacquiao via KO in 3 or 4


Josh Katzowitz: Boxing writer, Forbes.com
"... In my eyes, Horn doesn’t have the speed to contend with Pacquiao, and he certainly doesn’t have the experience, Josh stated via Forbes.com. "His chin seems sturdy enough, and Pacquiao’s power has certainly waned since he moved up in weight. But for me, Pacquiao is going to disappoint the 55,000-plus fans that will be in attendance with a fairly easy unanimous decision victory against Horn. And it will be an easier time than his victory vs. Vargas."

: Pacquiao via easy UD

Freddie Roach: Hall of Fame trainer, former top 10 contender, insider and Pacquiao's current and longtime mentor

"He [Manny] wants a rematch with Mayweather," Roach told Sky News of 38-year-old Pacquiao. "To get Mayweather, you have to look good. Against Horn, he's got to look good, he has to be impressive."

"(Pacquiao) doesn't like to predict knockouts and so forth but I do," Roach said at a media conference on Wednesday. "I think it's going to be short and sweet. If our opponent comes out like he says he's going to, Manny will fire back and I think it's going to be great fight (but) it won't last too long. And someone will get knocked out."

Prediction: Pacquiao by early KO 

Pacquiao vs Horn News
Date: July 1, 2017 (U.S.)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Braodcast: ESPN

Division: Welterweight
Title: WBO
Champion: Manny Pacquiao

Scott Christ: Boxing writer, BadLeftHook.com

"Based on what I know about Horn and what you can see of him in the ring on tape, he’s not on Pacquiao’s level. He is, frankly, not really close to Pacquiao’s level.

"The good news for Jeff Horn is nobody expects him to win or even be competitive, really. It’s a no-lose situation for him. If he shocks the world and wins the WBO title and knocks off an icon, then obviously that’s a huge win. If he gets sparked or just shut out over 12, what’s the harm? It’s Manny Pacquiao."

"Jeff Horn could beat Conor McGregor in boxing. He can’t beat Manny Pacquiao. He’s not good enough, and even if he had the potential to be, he doesn’t have the right experience to have prepared him."

Prediction: Pacquiao wins easily

Juan Manuel Marquez: Four-time Pacquiao opponent, multiple division world champion and future first ballot hall of famer

Horn has hinted he'll try to set Manny up for a big right hand a la Marquez vs Pacquiao in 2012.

"To knock Pacquiao out, you have to know him. I had 36 rounds with him [before that fourth fight], I already knew what he was doing and that's why that knockout came at the perfect moment when we wanted it - but beforehand I already knew him and in this case Jeff Horn does not know him, and because of that it will be difficult [to get that king of knockout]," said Marquez to ESPN Deportes.

"The important thing in this fight is the experience factor, and that's in favor of Pacquiao, but Pacquiao must look to get the knockout so he can return to the forefront, that he's still there in the forefront - to convince the people and promoters and the television networks. He will have to convince and knock Horn out."

John Mugabi: Former jr middleweight world champion and top tier middleweight contender in the late 1980s and early 1990s who faced the likes of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Terry Norris and Gerald McClellan; John is currently in Horn's training camp.

"Jeff Horn will shock Pacquiao," Mugabi told Courier Mail . "Pacquiao can be hit and hurt and Jeff is a great puncher. Very strong. Pacquiao will not be expecting the sort of power he has."

Prediction: Horn upsets Pacquiao


Brian Campbell, Boxing writer, CBSSports.com

"Despite pushing 40, Pacquiao has remarkably retained a level of speed and slickness that has kept him on most pound-for-pound top 10 lists," stated Campbell via CBSSports.com.

"Pacquiao's speed, on its own, will likely be enough to help him control Horn from the outside, especially combined with his sublime ability to land punches from incredibly awkward angles. And even if Horn was able to lure Pacquiao into a brawl, it's likely he would be outgunned anyway."

"Horn has decent pop and a very aggressive style. Similar to Ricky Hatton, he attempts to crowd and overwhelm opponents with volume, often using a lead right hand to catch them off guard. But his pension for aggression should come with a cost against Pacquiao considering how often Horn squares up when setting his feet before punching."

Prediction: Pacquiao by unanimous decision


Lee Cleveland: Boxing writer, FightSaga.com

Jeff Horn is a good, solid pro who will avoid being knocked out. Look for Pacquiao vs Horn to resemble Manny's fight with Chris Algieri in 2014 and Brandon Rios the year prior. Pacquiao, weary of Horn's right hand, will box rings around Horn and unleash punishment but will pay it safe and stop short of gunning for the stoppage.

It will be an exciting, albeit one-sided, bout.

Prediction: Manny scores a few knockdowns and wins a unanimous decision on all cards, 120-106.

My Pacquiao vs Horn prediction: It'll look something like this


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