Welterweights Manny Pacquiao (left) and Jeff Horn (right) meet in Brisbane. Getty

In an upcoming fight that prompts a lot of head-scratching due to the disparity in name recognition, Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title against Australian Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday, with the fight airing on Saturday night in the U.S.

Little was known of Horn before the fight was confirmed in March by International Business Times. The Brisbane native has a 16-0-1 record but he has never fought a well-known welterweight, let alone one of Pacquiao's stature. Horn hasn't fought since December 2016, when he defeated South African Ali Funeka by technical knockout.

Pacquaio (59-6-2, 38 KOs) enters the fight after defeating Jessie Vargas in November and Timothy Bradley in April 2016 by unanimous decisions. He hasn't won by a TKO since November 2014 when he defeated Miguel Cotto.

The fight is considered a tune-up for a bigger bout for Pacquiao later in 2017. Meanwhile, Pacquiao's longtime rival, Floyd Mayweather, is slotted to fight UFC headliner Conor McGregor in August.

Betting Odds

To little surprise, Pacquiao is the favorite at -650, according to online betting site Horn is the underdog at +475.

On Sunday, Pacquiao's odds were at +600, while Horn was listed at +450.

What To Watch For

Can Horn land any type of punch of significance? Is Pacquiao completely focused on the fight or is he looking ahead? Will the fight have any good exchanges?

Horn may have to take more chances than he'd like if Pacquiao wins the early rounds. But if he throws wildly and leaves himself susceptible to one of Pacquiao's many power punches, he may find himself on the mat. Horn tends to keep his hands low and looks to set up his big right hand. It might prove hard for him to land it against an experienced fighter. Horn will need to be very effective with his jab to keep the fight competitive.

Pacquiao will likely do just enough in the early rounds to properly set up an aggressive attack in the middle rounds. He will favor his left hand and his power punches will almost certainly be well-timed. The southpaw may not even have to be as active as he usually is to dominate Horn.

A big question for Pacquiao will be how serious he has taken his training. At 38 years old, and serving as a member of the Philippines Senate, it's possible he may have some rust.

Because he has far more experience and tools, Pacquiao will dictate the pace of the fight with jabs that set up his big left. Horn is most effective when he is able to land combinations, but that will be very difficult against Pacquiao.


Even with a hometown crowd, Horn has little chance of pulling off an upset against such a crafty boxer. Expect Pacquiao to overwhelm Horn and eventually stun him with a knockdown. Pacquiao will eventually apply enough pressure with his speedy combinations for the fight to get called. It's hard to see this fight lasting beyond eight rounds and even five or six might be a stretch.

Pacquiao by TKO