BRISBANE’S world beating Jeff Horn watched the telecast of boxing great Manny Pacquiao regaining the world welterweight title on Sunday and immediately began preparations for his own title shot in 2017.
Horn, 28, is the No.4 contender for Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organisation title but will likely move to No.3 after Pacquiao outpointed Mexican-American Jessie Vargas before 17,000 fans at the University of Nevada Campus in Las Vegas.
Horn is already the No.2 contender for the welterweight title of the rival group, the International Boxing Federation.
Pacquiao, 37, one of the most important political figures in the Philippines as a congressman turned senator, showed he is still a blood and guts brawler, dropping Vargas, 27, in the second round with a sizzling southpaw straight left and dominating the fight to win a lopsided decision and regain the championship. Two judges gave Pacquiao 10 of the 12 rounds while a third judge somehow had Pacquiao winning by just a point.
“I thought Pacquiao easily outboxed him,” Horn said.
“Vargas is a very basic fighter. He’s tough but he doesn’t do anything special. He just stands right in front of you with a long jab and right hand.
“If I was fighting Pacquiao I would move a lot more than Vargas did and give Pacquiao different angles the same way he did to Vargas.”
Horn defeated world No.10 Rico Mueller, from Germany in his last fight in Brisbane two weeks ago, and is set to fight world No.8 Ali Funeka of South Africa on December 10, most likely in Auckland.
“Big things are really starting to take off for me now,” said Horn, a Brisbane schoolteacher.
“I’m in the mix with all the big name welterweights in the world — in the box seat to fight Errol Spence for the IBF world title or if Pacquiao vacates his WBO title for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather I’ll probably be in one of the top two places to fight for that belt.
“Either way I’m planning to bring a world title home to Brisbane in 2017.’’
Pacquaio’s record is now 59 wins, six losses and two draws.
“I’m tired,” he said after the fight, “every round I was trying to knock him down but I had to be careful because he was always trying to counter me.”
Pacquiao’s arch foe Mayweather, the highest earning sportsman of all time, was ringside, leading to speculation about a rematch. Mayweather outpointed Pacquiao last May in the biggest grossing fight of all time which generated close to $600 million.
Vargas, who had been negotiating with the Horn camp before the $A3.5 million offer to fight Pacquiao, said he was stunned by the Filipino’s speed.
“It took that shot (in the second round) that dropped me to wake me up,” Vargas said.
“It was a flash knockdown but Manny has tremendous speed, tremendous experience.”
Pacquiao had former Australian amateur champ Justin Fortune in his corner as an assistant trainer.
Vargas suffered his second loss in 29 fights. Source: www.news.com.au