Pacquiao to win by decision, says judge
Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.
That’s the prediction from respected Kiwi international boxing judge Ian Scott for the Filipino’s WBO world welterweight title fight against Australian Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday.
Scott has a better idea than most about how the 29-year-old Horn will go in by far the biggest fight of his career having judged seven of Horn’s last eight fights, including two against former world champions Ali Funeka and Randall Bailey.
Scott will be watching on from Wellington on Sunday, but said Pacquiao, with a 59-6-2 professional fight record, should be too classy for Horn.
‘‘I honestly believe even though Manny doesn’t have the punching power of his golden days, I think he will win a unanimous points decision.
‘‘I can’t see him stopping Jeff Horn. Jeff is a tough kid and has a good ticker, but I don’t think Jeff will have the hand speed to stop Manny Pacquiao. He’s the stronger puncher of the two, but is slower than Pacquiao.’’
Elite-level, title-fight experience was massively in Pacquiao’s favour, Scott said.
‘‘Jeff has never fought at this level previously and I think that’s going to be a big advantage for Manny Pacquiao.’’
But all that experience can be a double-edged sword, having been gained over a long period of time. Pacquiao is 38 and age catches up with everyone.
Horn was knocked down in the third round against both Funeka and Bailey, before picking himself back up to register TKO victories, although Scott didn’t expect Pacquiao to floor Horn.
‘‘He’s conceding almost 10 years to Jeff and he doesn’t have the power he had in his earlier years. That showed in his latter fights against Floyd Mayweather and Timothy Bradley - he hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2009.’’
That gives the power advantage to Horn, who has 11 wins by knockout in his 16-0-1 career, which will be added to by Horn’s size advantage come fight time.
Scott said the 1.75-metre Horn will cut about five kilograms to make the 66.7kg limit for the weigh-in at 11am on Saturday and could put that back on, with interest, come fight at 1.30pm (3.30pm NZ time) on Sunday.
‘‘He could weigh as much as 72kg by fight time. Manny (1.66m) is a light welterweight. He’ll have no problems making the limit, but won’t put weight back on to the extent Jeff Horn will. There could be something like a 7kg weight advantage to Horn.’’
That height and weight advan- tage are Horn’s main weapons, but he has to catch Pacquiao first to be able to use them.
If he can, Scott said Horn would have to make the most of his strong right hand.
‘‘Manny is a southpaw and the best punch against an advancing southpaw is a good right hand. Jeff’s best weapon is his right hand.’’
Horn has only ever fought in Australasia, with seven fights in New Zealand after linking up with promoters Duco Events, including against Funeka as the main undercard for fellow Duco fighter Joseph Parker’s WBO world heavyweight title win over Andy Ruiz in December.
Scott said he was surprised to see Horn take the fight at this stage of his career, but said even if the lost, it would be good for his career.
‘‘What’s the worst possible scenario? He loses on points to Manny Pacquiao, an all-time great, there’s no shame in doing that and it’ll expose him to the wider international boxing public.’’
Ian Scott predicts a points victory to Manny Pacquiao.