Top Rank Promotion boss Bob Arum said that though virtually unknown, Australian boxer Jeff Horn would not be an easy opponent for reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
Arum’s Top Rank and Duco Promotions have already agreed in principle on Tuesday for a world title fight between the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) and the 28-year-old Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts).
“Jeff Horn is a very young aggressive fighter, he is very, very good, very well spoken, very powerful and rated No. 2 by the WBO and the International Boxing Federation,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Thursday.
The fight, tentatively set on April 22 or 23 could be held at the 52,000-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia or somewhere in the Middle East.
“Horn is a very powerful guy,” added Arum. “I was over in New Zealand last December when he knocked out a very, very good African fighter. He knocked out that African cold, so the guy has a lot of power.”
Arum was pertaining to Horn’s sixth round technical knockout win over African Ali Funeka for the vacant WBO intercontinental welterweight belt last December 12, at the Vector Arena in Auckland.
Arum added that he already informed Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach about the Horn fight. “Well, we don’t know but Freddie feels that Manny has enough abilities to cope with Horn’s power and as far as Freddie is concerned, he approved the fight that’s why I want it.”
“Horn is a good opponent for Manny Pacquiao. It gives Manny a good opportunity especially for his political career too. It’s a fight between a senator (Pacquiao) and former school teacher (Horn). It’s exactly a good story.”
Arum is scheduled to fly to Manila soon to secure Pacquiao’s approval and seal the deal.