Manny concerns ahead of Horn bout
BOXING: Manny Pacquiao is not the fighter he once was and that’s what brings him to Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Pacquiao is ripe for the picking. The question is whether Jeff Horn is good enough to bring him crashing down.
I was ringside in Las Vegas for Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas at the Thomas and Mack Centre and the Filipino’s performance wasn’t that impressive. Sure he won the fight, but it wasn’t like the Pacquiao of old.
He dominated the fight and won most rounds, but Pacquiao should have got Vargas out of there early and really made a statement.
His hand speed was still there, but the pop was missing from his punches. That power has often covered Pacquiao’s mistakes. He’d leave himself open, but hurt the guy enough that he couldn’t get caught in return.
His team put a PR slant on the performance saying Pacquiao didn’t want to hurt Vargas.
Jessie Vargas is a world class fighter who knows how to mix it with the best of them – you don’t need saving when you’re the WBO welterweight champion.
There’s always a reason when a fight doesn’t go to plan. It’s the art of boxing. Injury, interrupted build-up, difficult weight cut – these tales are more often heard in defeat than victory though.
A shutout win over Vargas for Pacquiao was preceded by a comfortable win over Timothy Bradley. Those fights came after his clash with Floyd Mayweather where he was comfortably beaten – an injured shoulder the reason given for his loss.
The only reason this fight with Horn is happening is because Pacquiao cannot command what he once did. The Battle of Brisbane is his best offer on the table.
His team doesn’t want to risk a fight against someone like Terence Crawford or Amir Khan.
Yes, he’d make a lot of money against a more recognisable name but if he loses, there goes any future paydays. Plus, the marketplace isn’t ready for those fights. Brand Pacquiao needs a boost first.
EYE OF THE TIGER: Manny Pacquiao during a training session at Lang Park PCYC.