One of the biggest fights to be televised on network cable this past Saturday ended in quite the conversational stir. Pay-Per-View Star Manny Pacquiao had his first televised fight on cable TV in over 15+ years and was taken on the highly underestimated Jeff Horn. Throughout the promotion of this fight a lot of people were saying how one sided this fight appeared to be and was simply a money grab for Manny & Top Rank Promotions. Even during the press conferences leading up to this fight, Pacquiao looked very uninterested in this fight, including texting messaging throughout the presser. Manny confidence was still pretty high with Manny’s coming off a win versus Jesse Vargas where he didn’t necessarily look like Prime Manny but still looked good enough to convincingly win the fight. Manny has reached that point in his career where he’s getting up there in age, while for some fighters 38 might not necessarily be completely out their prime for Manny he’s been fighting for 20+ years and eventually the wear and tear will catch up to you. On this night it seems like that was part of the case. Throughout this fight Manny’s signature movement and footwork was not at it’s best with his legs looking shot. Manny had trouble keeping the bigger man off him, wasn’t comfortable with the roughhousing tactics, and overall while I felt Manny fought a good close fight I do believe he lost this bout.
Jeff Horn came in as an underdog. With no names on his resume and all of his fights in either New Zealand or Australia. It was very had to take Horn as a serious competitor based off his prior victories. Horn’s game plan was executed to a T. He pressed Manny all night, made the fight dirty, and used his size to his advantage. Horn stayed on Manny all night. Many people are quick to point to the punch stats (which were in favor of Manny) but if you know anything about boxing you know that those boxing stats can be very inaccurate and not necessarily a good way to determine who won a fight. When watching a professional fight the CompuBox Stats shouldn’t be the factual way of determining what landed and what didn’t. Your eyes should. A lot of times when watching these fights depending on the views and opinions of the announcers they often times tend to sway the audience into buying into their perspective of the fight. Whether or not you thought Horn won or loss you have to admit it was an extremely close fight and in extremely close fights somebody has to get the decision and in this case the judges felt that Horn fought the better fight. In all honest I tend to agree with 2 of the judges. People have to realize this isn’t the same elite Manny Pacquiao from 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. While I do think that Pacquiao is still a top 10 Welterweight he’s shown that he’s lost a step or two along with his punching power not carrying over like it did in years pasts.
Congratulations to Jeff Horn who won this close bout and quite frankly deserved to win. Pacquiao does have a rematch clause and shorty after the fight he stated he wanted to enforce it. If the rematch does occur this will tell us whether or not this was a fluke or if Manny’s at the end of his career.