Top Rank Promotions has just announced that former eight-division world champ and current WBO welterweight champ, Manny Pacquiao, will be defending his belt against Australian Jeff Horn on ESPN.
The Pacquiao-Horn bout has been slammed by critics since the very moment it was announced, but the fact that the bout is on basic cable TV rather than pay-per-view, does change matters significantly.
Although still considered a mismatch when it comes to the actual bout, itself, the spectacle of what’s being billed as the biggest fight in Australian boxing history is certainly worth a watch on “free” cable.
The Saturday, July 1 card from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia kicks off at 10:00 p.m. ET with a bout featuring Shane Mosley, Jr. against David Toussaint. The other two undercard bouts of the evening are scheduled to be: Michael Conlan vs. Jarrett Owen and Jerwin Ancajas vs. Teiru Kinoshita.
As previously mentioned, the card will be telecast live on ESPN with a simultaneous broadcast on the Spanish language ESPN Deportes as well as the ESPN app.
Pacquiao, the heavy betting favorite for this upcoming bout, is considered to be one of the top fighters of this era and a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer.
Wins over the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Ricky Hatton have cemented the Filipino icon’s place in history.
In recent bouts, Pacquiao has rebounded from a tough decision loss to archrival Floyd Mayweather in May of 2015, which was the richest prizefight of all time, to beat Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas on the road to redemption.
A win over Horn on July first is considered a prelude to bigger things for the 38-year-old legend. Looming large in the background are high-stakes bouts with Top Rank stablemates Terence Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko and, possibly, should boxing politics permit it, welterweight showdowns with the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, and Danny Garcia.