Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn is expected to go down in a jam-packed Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on July 2. That sounds a complete success for the promoters except for the fact that the projected massive gate attendance doesn't echo the bout's worldwide appeal.
Factors like Jeff Horn's relative obscurity and the champ's switch to a more deliberate fighting style have definitely dampened this fight's luster. However, when placed under a microscope, it reveals that this WBO welterweight championship encounter contains different elements that can pull you into watching the scrap it unfolds.
From the absolutely legit to the downright outrageous, here now are eight reasons that make "The Battle of Brisbane" an attractive option even for the lapsed Pacman fans:
A chance to end the KO drought
Manny hasn't knocked out anyone in almost eight years. That's right, not a single stoppage since his masterful mauling of Miguel Cotto in November of 2009. According to our FHM advance boxing analytics section, the champion's chances of scoring a knockout victory this time is very low at just 10 percent. But still, a glimmer of possibility that we'll once again see the Pacman finishing off an opponent like the raging Wolverine going berserk on a Sentinel should be enough for any fight fan to take notice of Pacquiao-Horn. Manny Pacquiao of today showing semblance of his 2009 version would be a sight to behold.
A time to appreciate Manny's technical wizardry
The eight-division champion has been a technically savvy fighter for a long time. It's just that his greatness as a slugger has always overshadowed everything else in his arsenal. But the truth is, Manny can be aptly labeled as, in boxing parlance, a technician or a surgeon. Now that he no longer knocks people out, we're given the opportunity to appreciate the boxer in Manny Pacquiao. The subtle head feints to keep the adversary unbalanced, the precise punches with the right amount of power and control that allow him to score and avoid counters in succession are just a couple of beautiful techniques on full display in Manny's recent outings. If he appears sharp on fight day, he'll probably rout Jeff Horn with his stunning mastery of the sweet science.
Enjoy Manny Pacquiao while you can
At 38, Manny has been in several brutal ring wars. His boxing mileage is approaching its limit. Whether he agrees or not, there are only a few fights left in his tank. Now that he's still fighting at a high level—despite the inevitable decline in speed and explosiveness—the proper way to treat a boxing icon who has thrilled us for so many years is to support the remaining meaningful fights of his career. Think of it as Roger Federer's final tour or Kobe Bryant's farewell season. You would always try to see them play whenever you could. Keep in mind, Manny is a legit sporting legend. If you're frowning upon Pacquiao-Horn, you've got to remind yourself that Manny might retire for real sooner than you think and that you'll never see another boxer like the him ever again. Enjoy the Pacman while he can still fight.
Jeff Horn might be the real deal
A contender's usual route to boxing superstardom is the vanquishing of an ageing but still game champion, just like Manny did when he pummeled Marco Antonio Barrera from pillar to post in 2003. If the Aussie fighter is as good and ready as he says he is, then we might see a passing of the torch and the crowning of the next big thing in boxing. Another scenario that might take place if Horn brings the heat is Manny Pacquiao being forced to dig deep in his reserves to claw out a victory. If that happens, we could be in for an unforgettable slugfest.
Those are perfectly logical arguments. But if they aren't doing anything for you, perhaps you should hear out these three absurd situations that could make Pacquiao-Horn a must-see event.
Buboy Fernandez going viral
Manny Pacquiao's old pal and trainer looks like a nice charming guy. His physique also suggests that he's quite the foodie. If the fight turns out to be one-sided in favor of the boxing senator a la Pacuiao-Rios, Buboy and his appetite could go viral faster than a newly leaked celebrity sex scandal. To get by the extremely unentertaining fight, Buboy might think it's a good idea to pull out bundles of barbecued shrimp out of the gym bag, devour each stick, and occassionally shout "shrimp on the barbie" with an Australian accent while working the champ's corner.
Mommy D as The Crocodile Hunter
Mommy D's antics during her son's fights have always drawn major attention. This time, with the bout held in Australia, Aling Dionesia might outdo herself by going to the Suncorp Stadium dressed like the late great crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. Wearing an oversized hat while cracking her whip as she puts the hex on Jeff Horn will definitely require a significant chunk of the world's population to try and understand what's gotten into her. Brace yourselves, meme-makers of the internet.
A bonus fight
Manny has an Aussie spar-mate named George Kambosos, Jr. Jeff Horn hired former ALA fighter Czar Amonsot to spar with him as well. What would surely add fireworks to the Pacquiao-Horn card is Kambosos and Amonsot going at it, trying to knock each other's head off after intensely cheering against their respective countrymen. The perfect ending to the scuffle would be the two, scratching their noggins, confused as to where their allegiance truly lie.
A boxing kangaroo gets in on the action
How will such a spectacle happen? Well, imagine this: a crazy Jeff Horn fan from the outback sneaking in the large Australian beast into the stadium. He then sees his idol on the receiving end of a beatdown, prompting him to release the kangaroo into the ring. Now, Manny versus a pugilistic kangaroo is a matchup no one should miss.