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Manny Pacquiao headed toward April 22 showdown with little known Jeff Horn

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HustleTV Sports News It appears Manny Pacquiao will fight little known Jeff Horn on April 22 at a site to be determined. 

It is not done and there are several variables to sort out, not the least of which is Manny Pacquiao’s approval himself, but all indications are that the Filipino senator is headed toward an April 22 showdown with little known Australian Jeff Horn.

It all also means that Pacquiao yet again will be skipping on a fight with the best possible opponent, the highly regarded super lightweight champion Terence Crawford. HustleTV

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told Ring TV  on Tuesday that he’d come to terms with Dean Lonergan of Duco Events for Horn to fight Pacquiao. There is still no site nor has Pacquiao agreed to face Horn. Arum plans to fly to the Philippines to speak with Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao HustleTV.tv DJ Hustle Jeff Horn

Manny Pacquiao HustleTV.tv DJ Hustle Jeff Horn

Arum also doesn’t yet have a U.S. television deal, which will further complicate things. A Pacquiao-Horn fight would almost certainly seem to be a bomb on pay-per-view and in all likelihood would do a smaller figure than the roughly 215,000 sales Pacquiao did on Nov. 5 for his bout with Jessie Vargas. Arum told ESPN that pay-per-view isn’t a primary consideration and that there is a chance the fight will be on form of free television in the U.S. HustleTV

“We have an agreement with Horn but it’s all subject to Manny’s approval,” Arum told RingTV. “And it’s all subject to getting a site. So it’s still up in the air but it looks like it’s headed (to a bout with Horn).”

Horn, 28, is 16-0-1 but he has beaten no Top 10 fighters when they were in his prime. The biggest names on his resume are Randall Bailey, a power-puncher who was long past his prime when Horn defeated him in April; and Ali Funeka, who lost lightweight title fights to Nate Campbell in 2009 and Joan Guzman in 2010. HustleTV

Arum said he is considering venues in Australia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Australian Jeff Horn, who is 16-0-1, is likely to fight Manny Pacquiao on April 22, promoter Bob Arum said. (Getty Images)

Australian Jeff Horn, who is 16-0-1, is likely to fight Manny Pacquiao on April 22, promoter Bob Arum said.

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Manny Pacquiao wins first fight back from ‘retirement’ in one-sided victory over Jessie Vargas

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HustleTV  Boxing News Manny Pacquiao (R) throws a punch at Jessie Vargas during their fight Saturday. (AP)

LAS VEGAS – A younger Manny Pacquiao probably would have taken Jessie Vargas out sometime in the first half of their fight for the WBO welterweight title. But even at only a few weeks before his 38th birthday, Pacquiao was far more precise than the defending American champion.

For all the criticism that could be leveled at Pacquiao for scoring yet another decision, what he did on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in lifting the WBO welterweight title from the 27-year-old Vargas is still a remarkable feat.

Fighting as a sitting, nationally elected senator from the Philippines, Pacquiao scored a clear-cut decision victory over Vargas, who simply didn’t have the physical skills he needed to handle a fighter of Pacquiao’s ilk.

The judges scored it 118-109 twice and, bizarrely, 114-113 for Pacquiao, who ended a brief retirement and regained the WBO welterweight belt he once held. Yahoo Sports also had it 118-109 for Pacquiao.

He won despite a training camp in which his days frequently began before dawn, ended as the clock neared midnight and included precious little time for either rest or family.

“I feel happy,” he said. “I’m trying every round to knock him down, but not get careless.”

To win a world championship at any time, at any age, is a feat. To do so at nearly 38 is remarkable. But to do it at nearly 38 while serving as a full-time politician is almost mind-blowing.

Promoter Bob Arum has been around boxing for more than 50 years, and he was almost awed throughout the promotion imagining Pacquiao preparing for a world championship fight while also dealing with being a senator.

The fact that he is a full-time senator and was only able to train around his day job, which is as a senator, not this, and where he chairs committees, etc., that is absolutely remarkable to have been in the shape he was.”

It’s hard to underestimate what he did. HustleTV 

He knocked Vargas down with a sharp, straight left in the second. He pushed the pace and opened a cut on Vargas’ right eyeline and swelled up the right side of his face. He consistently beat Vargas to the punch and had little difficulty in controlling the action.

“Fighting Manny Pacquiao is like playing a very fast game of chess,” Vargas said. “You have to be alert at all times because there were a lot of punches coming in. He was very fast. He was very sharp.”

Pacquiao’s long-time rival, Floyd Mayweather, who beat Pacquiao in a hugely hyped fight down the street a year-and-a-half ago, was unexpectedly seated at ringside. When Pacquiao saw Mayweather as he was awaiting the first bell, he raised his hand, smiled and nodded.

It doesn’t necessarily mean a fight between them is imminent. Arum mentioned super lightweight champion Terence Crawford, super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and welterweights Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia as potential opponents, though he stressed he needed to discuss things with Pacquiao.

Pacquiao said he invited Mayweather, but when asked if he was looking for a fight with him, he said, “We’ll see.”

A crowd of 16,132 filled the large arena on the UNLV campus to pay tribute to one of the era’s greats, who had won so many dramatic victories in this city before. A 28-, or 30- or even 34-year-old Pacquiao might have been quicker and stronger and finished the fight long before the final bell, but what Pacquiao did in defeating Vargas, winning 10 of the 12 rounds on two scorecards, can’t be overstatedHustleTV 

He’s no longer the best fighter in the world, and he’s probably not even in the top 10 pound-for-pound, if the truth be told. But he remains an elite talent and would be hard for all but the best of the best to defeat.

A solid, talented but not elite fighter like Vargas simply didn’t have the tools to pull that off. He tried, and occasionally caught Pacquiao with a right hand, but Pacquiao was quicker, was firing a lot and was moving his head when he was in punching range.

Mayweather shrugged his shoulders when asked about Pacquiao.

“Not bad,” he said.

But Pacquiao landed 147 of 409 shots according to CompuBox, compared to 104 of 562 for Vargas. Nearly all of the hard, decisive shots came from Pacquiao.

Pacquiao climbed the ropes in a neutral corner after the decision was announced and pounded his chest. He turned to his right and saw Mayweather, smiled and mouthed, “Thank you.”

Boxing fans owe Pacquiao a debt of gratitude for a career in which he always made it a point to try to put on a show. Even as he slowed down as his moved inexorably close to 40, he was always aggressive and always tried for the knockout.

On this night, he fought smart and used the tricks he’d learned in a more than 20-year career that began when he put heavy objects in his pockets to try to get up to the limit of 105 pounds.

He did it after not missing a day in the senate after he was criticized for absenteeism during his two terms in the Filipino congress.

He became an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, introduced a number of bills and participated fully in the political process after having treated his previous role as something of a lark. He did his road work early, tended to his senatorial duties until the evening and would then show up to train at night, on occasion as late as 10 p.m.

Judged in the context of what he had to deal with, his bout Saturday was a smashing success. It’s not fair to judge him against the younger, faster stronger guy he once was who had nothing else to do but fight.

“I’ll fight whoever the people want me to fight,” Pacquiao said. “I am not picking an opponent. I’ll fight whoever my promoter gives me. I will fight.”

It’s likely to be super lightweight champion Terence Crawford next, which is also remarkable given that Crawford is unbeaten and among the world’s most talented fighters. It’s quite an accomplishment for a nearly 38-year-old. HustleTV 

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Bob Arum: Loss to Jessie Vargas would be ‘devastating’ for Manny Pacquiao

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HustleTV Sports News….  Bob Arum is a Hall of Fame promoter and certainly among the best in the business, so when he talks about his fighters and the fights he promotes, well, you have to take some of it with the proverbial grain of salt.

Arum, after all,  is the quintessential boxing promoter — an extraordinary salesman. HustleTV

But the 84-year-old Arum, who has handled some of the biggest stars in the sport over the last half century, starting with Muhammad Ali, knows his boxers as well as anybody. So while you understand that first and foremost he’s trying to sell his fights, you still have to listen. And besides, where can you get a better quote than from Bob Arum?

 

When the chairman and founder of Top Rank discusses  his Nov. 5 pay-per-view welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and WBO champ Jessie Vargas, you listen as he tells you that Vargas, despite the steep odds against him — as high as 10-1 — has a great chance to win.

“He has a hell of a shot,” Arum says without hesitation. “The reason is that Manny has been consumed by all of this talk that he has to become a knockout guy again, he has to go all out to sustain his popularity. So Manny will go after Jessie and be very, very, careless and he will bring his best offensive game.

“Jessie is a kid that has all the guts in the world and that’s the kind of fight he wants,” Arum says. “Because if Manny is going to go in there with the intention of knocking out Jessie and being very aggressive, that gives Jessie the best opportunity to win the fight. He’s a hell of a puncher, he’s got a lot of guts and you look at his career, he does very well against southpaws, better than he does against orthodox fighters.” HustleTV

And should Pacquiao lose, what then?

“It would be a tremendously devastating loss for him,” Arum says of his 37-year-old meal ticket. “There’s no question about it. It’s not like he’s in his early 30s or late 20s and he loses. It happens to fighters all the time. It will have been a loss at the back end of his career when in fact he is spending so much time with what other people say is his real career, being a senator.” HustleTV

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Manny Pacquiao will face Terence Crawford in comeback fight, says promoter Bob Arum

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HustleTV Sports News…   Manny Pacquiao will face Terence Crawford in his comeback fight, according to boxing promoter Bob Arum. Welterweight champion Jessie Vargas and Viktor Postol were also said to be in the running, but it seems that the ‘Pac Man’ has made his decision. DJ Hustle

Crawford was in action on 23 July beating Viktor Postol in the super-lightweight division at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The American boxer unified the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Championship (WBC) belt after winning via an unanimous 118-107, 118-107, 117-108 decision, twice knocking Postol to the floor in the fifth round.

Pacquiao, who is currently 147 pounds, reportedly wants to go down to 140 pounds, his natural fighting weight, which makes Crawford the perfect choice of opponent considering he also fights in the same weight category.

“I’ve talked to Manny and he’s willing to give Terence the opportunity. Manny has already said Yes,” Arum said as quoted by Sportsrageous.

The American Crawford has confirmed that if he fights it will be in the 140 pound weight category, though it is not too certain that the Filipino will agree to his terms. DJ Hustle

“It will be at 140 definitely. But I’m going on vacation right now. We’re not worried about Manny Pacquiao right now.”

The 37-year-old boxer who is returning to the ring just three months after hanging up his boxing gloves, bowed out of the sport with a career record of 58 wins in 66 fights. His last fight was against Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand on 9 April.

The Philippine fighter, who was elected to his country’s senate in May, had earlier said that he would give up boxing to concentrate on his new role in politics but would return to train once the country’s budget was presented in mid-October. HustleTV

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How sparring with Manny Pacquiao gave Viktor Postol newfound confidence

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HustleTV Sports News… LAS VEGAS – Viktor Postol’s introduction to Freddie Roach wasn’t quite as random as Manny Pacquiao’s, but Postol is hopeful that aligning with the seven-time Trainer of the Year can have a fraction of the positive impact upon him that it had on the Filipino superstar. DJ Hustle

Roach turned Pacquiao from a good but unknown fighter with plenty of flaws into a world champion in a record eight weight divisions.

It all happened by accident. Pacquiao was on vacation in California and, looking for a place to train, happened upon Roach’s tiny gym in Hollywood.

Fourteen-plus years later, Pacquiao is a senator in the Philippines, a global superstar and widely regarded as one of the best fighters to have ever lived.

Two years ago, on the advice of his manager Vadim Kornilov, Postol made the same pilgrimage that Pacquiao did. And right away, Roach was impressed.

“It wasn’t like Manny where you saw these tremendous natural talents, but it was pretty obvious he could fight,” Roach said. “I was confident after taking a look at him that this guy could do some things.”

He’ll have a chance to do something big on Saturday when he meets Terence Crawford in the main event of an HBO Pay-Per-View card at the MGM Grand Garden with the WBC-WBO 140-pound titles at stake.

Both are 28-0, though Crawford, the 2014 Fighter of the Year, has 20 knockouts to Postol’s 12.

Crawford is better than a 6-to-1 favorite to win, a number that caused Roach to break out laughing when he heard it.

“You have to be pretty good to be favored over this guy,” Roach said, nodding toward Postol. “Six-to-one? You’ve got to be really [expletive] good to be that big of a favorite. I mean, wow.” HustleTV

Postol is a one-time security guard whose wife gave birth to twins on Tuesday in the Ukraine. He already holds the WBC title and is eager to add Crawford’s belt on Saturday so, as he says, he has “one belt for each kid.”

Postol won the WBC title in his last outing, a stunning knockout of the favored Lucas Matthysse on Oct. 3 at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles.

Matthysse has long been regarded as one of boxing’s biggest punchers, but he was handled easily by Postol, who stopped him in the 10th.

At the final news conference for the fight, Arum couldn’t resist taking a jab at his rival Golden Boy Promotions for pitting Postol against Matthysse.

It was vintage Arum, who gloated as he raved about Postol’s dominant performance.

“People in his last two fights gave him very little chance to win,” Arum said of Postol. “He fought a very, very skilled Turkish fighter [Selcuk Aydin] who everybody was predicting was the next big thing. He knocked him out.

“And then, the people at Golden Boy were looking for a soft touch for the Argentine fighter, [Lucas] Matthysse. Somehow, their matchmakers selected Viktor Postol as that soft touch. Viktor was such a soft touch that he not only won the fight but he knocked out Matthysse in a tremendous fight.”

That made Postol a logical opponent for Crawford, who is widely regarded as one of the top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Crawford is fast and a good puncher, and says that by no longer having to punish his body to make the lightweight limit of 135 pounds, his power is more of a factor.

But Postol is three inches taller, has a three-inch reach advantage and throws straight punches that Roach believes will be effective against Crawford.

Crawford is a right-hander who often switches stances, going from right-handed to left-handed and back numerous times throughout a round.

Roach’s mentor is the late Eddie Futch, arguably the wisest boxing mind in the sport’s history, and Futch had one inviolable rule: No switching stances during a fight.

“He just didn’t believe in that,” Roach said of Futch. “No way you could do that with him.”

Roach said that Postol can take advantage of that with a jab, a straight right and an uppercut.

“Stuff down the middle should work,” Roach said.

If it does, it could lead Postol into a fight with Pacquiao in November. Arum is hopeful of putting Pacquiao on pay-per-view on Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus here, though Pacquiao is still making noises like he’s not certain he’ll fight.

But Arum’s top contenders now are the winner of Saturday’s fight and WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

If Postol gets the gig, he’ll be without Roach because Roach has been with Pacquiao so long. That said, it will be familiar territory for Postol. DJ Hustle

When Postol showed up at the Wild Card Boxing Club, Roach was so impressed that he immediately shipped him to the Philippines, where Pacquiao was just getting ready for a training camp.

The two sparred frequently, though Roach had to cut back on it after he saw what was going on.

“Sparring, you’re supposed to be working on things, getting ready and so forth,” he said. “But Viktor wasn’t overwhelmed by Manny like a lot of the sparring partners. Manny’s speed is too much for most of the guys, but Viktor was able to deal with it. They became like fights, and that’s not what you want in sparring, so I had to dial it back.”

Postol isn’t too much into talking about Pacquiao now, but he concedes that holding his own during sparring with the Filipino great improved his view of himself. It gave him the confidence to know he could beat anyone in his weight class.

And that includes Crawford, a budding star himself who has been the center of much of the promotion’s attention.

“We know who Bob wants [to win] Saturday,” Roach said, grinning.

Postol doesn’t care, because he has what he’s long wanted: A chance to prove himself.

It’s a long way from being a security guard in a mall in the Ukraine who had to take abuse from young thugs as he did his rounds, but it’s where he has long wanted to be.

“I’m right where I want to be,” he said. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m not intimidated and I’m not worried. I have a job to do and I know I can go out there and do it.”

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Manny Pacquiao chooses Tim Bradley as opponent for April 9 bout

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Pacquiao, in his first bout since being beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May, has chosen to face Timothy Bradley for a third time. The bout will be on April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden. Pacquiao chose Bradley, whom he lost to via a highly controversial decision in 2012 and then defeated in a 2014 rematch, over 2014 Fighter of the Year Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and dark-horse candidate Adrien Broner.

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