Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum cautioned reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach not to take lightly the Filipino ring icon’s July 2 fight with Australian challenger Jeff Horne in Brisbane.
Arum said Horn has the skills to pull off an upset that’s why Pacquiao and Roach can’t treat the fight like a tuneup match.
“No, It is not a tune-up fight and Manny (Pacquiao) knows it,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call. “Is Terence Crawford better than Horn or I mean Horn better than Crawford? No he is not, but Horn is a formidable young guy with a big punch and he is durable.”
“So, Manny knows that he needs to take Horn seriously,” he added.
Horn, 29, is ranked No. 2 by the WBO in the welterweight class.
If the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) beats Horn convincingly, Arum said a mega fight is in the table for the eight-division world champion late this year possibly in November in the United States.
“Pacquiao is going to fight in November and Crawford is just one of the opponents that we are talking about but we do not have any opponent yet,” said Arum.
“Absolutely, it is a fight against a guy considered to be a tough opponent, whoever he is, that’s the way we want to go.”
Six days ago, Roach told www.boxingscene.com that the July 2 fight is basically a tuneup fight and he is looking past Pacquiao’s fight with Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) hoping that his ward could book a bout against someone who is more exciting and more competitive like Mikey Garcia.
“It looks like our second fight of the year will be Mikey Garcia,” Roach told www.boxingscene.com. “I like the Horn fight to get ready for Mikey Garcia, because it will be a little bit of a tune-up, and it will get Manny a little bit fresher. It will get his mind on boxing a little bit more.”