Bob Arum of Top Rank is saying that Manny Pacquiao is close to signing a fight against Jeff Horn for July 2 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao, 38, will be defending his WBO welterweight title against the Australian Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) in front of his own fans. Arum likes what he sees in Horn, and he’s been talking about wanting to make this fight between him and Pacquiao last year.
Arum originally wanted to match Horn against Tim Bradley or Jessie Vargas before putting him in with Pacquiao. But for some reason, Arum decided to skip that idea and go straight with the Pacquiao fight. It might be a bad idea considering the U.S boxing fans still don’t know who Horn is. If Arum had built up the fight properly by putting Horn in with Vargas or Bradley, it would have been smarter.
“We’re very close,” Arum said to The Star. “We have to get the contract signed. They’re reviewing the contract and hopefully it will be signed in the next hours or so. On the Australian side, everything is done. Jeff Horn has signed the contract.”
Horn is rated #2 with the World Boxing Organization in their top 15 rankings at 147. It seems like a situation where Arum is making sure that if Pacquiao loses to someone, it’ll be to one of his own fighters from this Top Rank stable. Horn is co-promoted by Top Rank. So if Pacquiao gets beaten by Horn, the WBO 147lb title will remain in the Top Rank family. Before won the WBO title, it was in the possession of the Top Rank promoted Tim Bradley. Before he had the title, it was with the Top Rank promoted Jessie Vargas. The WBO belt keeps going from one Top Rank fighter to another nowadays.
It’s unknown what the terms are for the fighters. There’s been talk that Pacquiao will get a purse of $5 million. That’s well below what he used to make for his fights. Matching Pacquiao against Bradley and Vargas are not great fights to stay on the top of the PPV market. Pacquiao might have done better for himself if he had insisted that he be matched against a fighter that the U.S boxing fans are interested in seeing him fight. At one time, the fans enjoyed when Pacquiao would fight Bradley. But after facing him twice, there was no reason for Pacquiao to fight him a third time on PPV. There was also no reason for Pacquiao to fight Jessie Vargas instead of a popular fighter. The fight was played out.
Pacquiao-Horn appeals to the Australian boxing fans, who are familiar with the 28-year-old Horn. It’s not a fight that will interest the U.S boxing fans. For that reason, Arum will have a hard time trying to sell this fight on HBO PPV. I’d be surprised if HBO agrees to televise it. HBO has got to know what a terrible fight it is. There are some fights that are just not cut out for PPV. This is one of them.
If Horn can beat Pacquiao, then Arum will have a little star. I’m not sure if Pacquiao will continue fighting if he loses. It would be difficult for Pacquiao to digest a loss like this to an unknown fighter like Horn.
Dillian Whyte to headline a June 3rd card at O2 Arena in London
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (20-1, 15 KOs) says he’ll be headlining a card on June 3rd against an opponent still to be determined at the O2 Arena in London, England. Whyte, 28, was previously going to fight on the Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. card on May 27 at Bramall Lane, in Sheffield, England. Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn pulled him off the card in order to put him on his own card on June 3rd. Whyte says he’s going to be fighting a big name from this list of heavyweights: Deontay Wilder, Lucas Browne, Luis Ortiz, Dominic Breazeale or Bryant Jennings.
”My possible candidates would be: Wilder, Lucas Browne, Luis Ortiz, Bryant Jennings,” said Whyte on his Twitter. “I could also see Breazele but he isn’t what I would call a big name. Thoughts?”
Jennings and Breazeale definitely aren’t big names, but then again neither are Browne and Ortiz. It doesn’t look like Whyte is going to be fighting a big name in his next fight. I’d be very surprised if he faces a big name in his next fight. Whyte won a controversial 12 round split decision over Dereck Chisora last December. Chisora hurt Whyte a couple of times in that fight and had him on the verge of a knockout.
Whyte is rated #4 with the World Boxing Council at this time. There’s no point in Wilder giving Whyte a world title shot because he’s not rated high enough at this point to force a world title shot against Wilder. Hearn might be able to make a deal with Wilder’s management to let Whyte get a world title fight. It might be kind of hard though because the WBC ordered Wilder to face his mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne.
Whyte will have problems if he faces Wilder or Ortiz. Those guys have a lot of offensive fire power, and Whyte doesn’t possess the power to deal with those kinds of punchers.
Ryota Murata vs. Hassan N’Dam on May 20 for vacant WBA World middleweight title
2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (12-0, 9 KOs) will be fighting former WBO 160lb. champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (35-2, 21 KOs) for the vacant WBA World middleweight crown on May 20 at the Ariake Colosseum, in Tokyo, Japan.
Also on the card will be Daigo Higa (12-0, 12 KOs) will be fighting WBC flyweight champ Juan Hernandez (34-2, 25 KOs). Shiro Ken (9-0, 5 KOs) will be fighting WBC light flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (28-6, 17 KOs).
Murata, 31, recently defeated Bruno Sandoval by a 3rd round knockout on December 30, 2016. In Murata’s fight before that, he defeated 38-year-old George Tandooahnippah by a 1st round knockout. Murata looked good, but he was facing a guy that was well below his talent level. To be honest, we don’t really know how good Murata is. We’ll find out when he gets inside the ring with the 33-year-old N‘Dam.
N’Dam lost his WBO middleweight title 5 years ago n losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Peter Quillin. D’Dam was knocked down 6 times in the fight. It became a jock to see N’Dam getting knocked down over and over again. N’Dam was also beaten by David Lemieux by a 12 round unanimous decision 2 years ago in 2015 in a fight for the vacant IBF World middleweight title. N’Dam was knocked down 4 times in the fight. He might have had a chance of beating Lemieux if he could have stayed on his feet instead of being knocked down over and over again.