Bob Arum has confirmed Manny Pacquiao’s next fight: on April 22nd, the Filipino legend will take on Jeff Horn in the first defense of his reclaimed WBO welterweight title. The fight will reportedly take place in either the United Arab Emirates or Horn’s native Australia.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KO), 28, reached the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals before falling to eventual silver medalist Denys Berinchyk. He’s fought solid opposition as a pro, most recently knocking out Ali Funeka on the undercard of Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Jr, including but Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) is in a whole other dimension.
Arum was refreshingly honest about Horn’s chances.
I thought he was a really rugged guy. He's a good fighter," Arum said. "Does he beat Manny? Probably not, but he's going to give him a good fight. He has a very pleasing personality.
Horn is ranked #2 by the WBO behind Jessie Vargas, so at least it makes sense rankings-wise. He’s not a bad fighter by any stretch of the imagination, but personally, watching him fight Manny Pacquiao this early in his career holds no appeal.
We’ll keep you guys updated as the undercard takes shape and they hammer out the broadcast details. Arum stated that the fight will be a pay-per-view in Australia but will air on either HBO or a free network here in the States.