After conquering Pacquiao, Horn lines up Mayweather

Posted July 04, 2017

Freddie Roach plans to have a "long talk" with Manny Pacquiao following his shock defeat to Jeff Horn, with the trainer admitting to concerns over his fighter's ability to combine a top-level boxing career with his duties as a senator in the Philippines.

The Australian responded by paying tribute to his rival, describing him as "an absolute warrior, a legend of the sport".

"The problem, ladies and gentlemen, is all the people he's beaten have been no-names", Smith said before the fight. But it was Pacquiao who allowed the fight to be as close as it was, and it's hard to argue much (though those blabbering on ESPN certainly did) with the two judges who had it 115-113 in Horn's favor.

Pacquiao, one of the finest boxers of his generation, paid the price for a slow start and his inability to end the fight with a knockout.

New world champion Jeff Horn has been challenged to defend his title against Chris van Heerden. It looked as if his afternoon would be over but he somehow stayed upright and made it to his chair. He dismissed criticisms that he lacked preparation for the fight and said Horn was just a sturdy opponent.

Bringing top boxing matches back to cable and network television has been en vogue in recent years with Premier Boxing Champions seemingly having fights on every American television network that airs sports. But boxing experts were almost unanimous in their opinion that Horn received a gift, and Pacquiao was the bout's true victor. "But I thought they were very disrespectful when people were saying things [before the fight]".

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"From the beginning, we knew Pacquiao was in for a rough night because the kid (Horn) was packing heat. I can remember some days that I felt that because of the bullying".

"I thought Horn would get knocked out but he came out blazing, he gave it his all", Van Heerden said.

"I have a lot to do with the school still", he said.

Whether you agree with the decision or not, Horn fought far better than many had imagined he could and proved to the boxing world he was a capable fighter with a bright future.

He was expected to overcome the unheralded Horn in an effort to entice Mayweather into a rematch of their super-fight, but the unbeaten Australian rose to the occasion in what was only his 18th fight in the paid ranks. We should be celebrating his determination and grit - and his stunning achievement.