Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao raises his WBO welterweight championship belt.
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao raises his WBO welterweight championship belt. Bullit Marquez

Pacquiao on Horn: 'I don't know him'

WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao insists he's never heard of Australian fighter Jeff Horn - reportedly his next challenger - but he'd love to meet him one day.

Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has touted Horn, managed by Auckland-based Duco Events, as his fighter's next opponent on April 22, either in the United Arab Emirates or Australia.

But either word of that match genuinely hasn't reached the champ yet or his mind games with the little-known Aussie have already begun.

"I don't know him,” Pacquiao told Fox Sport News.

Still, Pacquiao was openly receptive to the idea of taking his act to Australia to fight Horn in what is essentially being dubbed as a "world tour”.

"I'm hoping that the fight will be in Australia, I'd love to do that,” he said.

Pacquiao continued by reasserting that he's still at peak form as a fighter, but declined to comment on Jeff Horn's chances against him, after admitting that he's never seen Horn fight before.

In fact, he's never even seen Horn's face before.

Australian welterweight boxer Jeff Horn.
Australian welterweight boxer Jeff Horn. DAVE HUNT

Horn (16-0-1, 11KO) reached the 2012 Olympic quarter-finals, before falling to eventual silver medallist Denys Berinchyk.

He was an impressive winner against Ali Funeka on the Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jnr undercard, but Pacquiao would represent a whole new challenge for the former Brisbane schoolteacher.

Horn is ranked No.2 challengeer by WBO, behind Jessie Vargas, so his claim is legitimate.

"I thought he was a really rugged guy,” said Arum, who watched the Funeka bout from ringside. "He's a good fighter.

"Does he beat Manny? Probably not, but he's going to give him a good fight.

"He has a very pleasing personality.”

There are fears in the boxing world that, if this Pacquiao-Horn fight does eventually come off, it will be yet another lacklustre fight, which is more of a novelty act than a upper-echelon prizefight.

Pacquiao isn't getting any younger, stronger or more dedicated to the sport of boxing as time goes by, so if the plan is to ever have him face a young stud like Terence Crawford, he'd be better off doing it sooner than later.

NZ HERALD


Three times the Elvis appeal

Three times the Elvis appeal

Elvis - An American Trilogy show is coming to the Northern Rivers

Un bon film! French cinema festival is coming

Un bon film! French cinema festival is coming

Alliance Francaise Cote du Nord has unveiled this year's program

A beauty, a beast and some singing cutlery sought

A beauty, a beast and some singing cutlery sought

Ballina Players is auditioning for Beauty and the Beast

Local Partners