With Manny Pacquiao so heavily favored to defeat Jeff Horn on Saturday in Brisbane, Australia, there is little out there discussing whether or not Horn can score the upset.
To be clear, he almost certainly can’t. It would be a massive shock.
So what’s the real question? Well, that’s simple, too: Can Manny Pacquiao score his first stoppage since 2009?
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) last stopped an opponent on November 14, 2009, when referee Kenny Bayless stepped in 55 seconds into the 12th and final round and called a halt to what had become a one-sided beating delivered to Miguel Cotto, who was pretty much in full retreat mode when Bayless called the fight off.
On May 2, 2009, in his previous fight, Pacquiao, now 38, knocked Ricky Hatton clean out in the center of the ring at the end of the second round.
Since then? Pacquiao has won nine fights — over Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley Jr (twice), Chris Algieri, and Jessie Vargas — but none of them have come early.
To be fair, Pacquiao’s 2010 win over Margarito could easily have been a stoppage, had referee Laurence Cole or Margarito’s corner done the smart thing and saved the fighter from taking undue punishment. But nobody did, and Pacquiao’s streak dates back perhaps a year further than it should.
Much has been made about Manny’s lack of killer instinct in recent years, but that might be overstated. He was fighting for a knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, when Marquez famously crushed him with a right hand that turned out Pacquiao’s lights in the sixth round.
And he dropped Algieri six times in their 2014 contest, another fight that could reasonably have been stopped by the referee or Algieri’s corner.
But other times, it’s probably fair to say that Pacquiao has been content to box for points and cruise to victory, notably in wins over Mosley (who was down once), Rios, and Vargas.
So will Pacquiao stop the seemingly hopelessly overmatched Jeff Horn on Saturday, or will his streak continue on?
Will Manny Pacquiao stop Jeff Horn on Saturday?
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