WHO COULD FEATURE ON PAC HORN 2 UNDERCARD?
By Tom Watt on Aug 23 2017
With news surfacing this week that the much-anticipated rematch between Australia’s WBO Welterweight Champion, Jeff Horn and future Hall-Of-Famer, Manny Pacquiao is being negotiated to take place in Brisbane later this year between Top Rank and Duco Promotions, with Suncorp Stadium looking a likely destination.
When Horn toppled the Filipino superstar to become World Champion earlier this year the undercard boasted some of Australia’s hottest emerging talent with the likes of Damien Hooper and David Touissaint securing high-profile wins on the TV show and Brent Dames and Broxk Jarvis impressing the fans within the stadium.
Whilst the details of the main event is being taken care of, we have a look at who could possibly feature on the undercard of the rematch:
George Kambosos Jr (12-0-0, 6 KOs)
Kambosos was front and centre for the first fight, as a former amateur team-mate of Horn’s and Pacquaio’s main sparring partner, the slick Sydney-sider was perfectly positioned to give an insight on both men and was more than happy to do so whenever given the chance. Kambosos is currently ranked at number 7 with the WBA at 135lbs and is desperate to land his shot at the title currently being held by Jorge Linares, who is due to fight Britain’s Luke Campbell on September 23rd, so a high-profile win on a Pacquiao undercard could be just what he needs to secure that long-awaited pay-day.
Kambosos is hungry for a big-name fight and having dispatched of his domestic competition with relative ease, the outspoken Aussie will be looking for some top level foreign opposition if he is given the nod. Rumours were swirling around that Duco were interested in signing Kambosos and a big fight on this undercard could go a long way to signalling their intentions to a fighter being courted by several promoters.
Finding a decent level opponent within budget may be the biggest issue in putting Kambosos on the undercard, unless a big name domestic bout rears it’s head. – Kambosos’ ability to get under his opponents skin saw his clashes with Qamill Balla and Brandon generate plenty of media and fan attention so that may be the route they take if this is to materialise, unless of course, Duco are willing to invest in the young Australian and bring over a highly ranked fighter in an attempt to secure that mandatory WBA spot.
Brock Jarvis (11-0-0, 10 KOs)
Undoubtedly one of the hottest talents in Australian Boxing right now. Trained and managed by Jeff Fenech, Brock Jarvis is knockout machine, dispatching 10 of his 11 inside the distance and developing somewhat of a reputation as a fearsome body-puncher. At only 19 years of age his potential is scary to consider and many top pundits are tipping the precocious teenager for a very bright future. Jarvis’ team have already expressed they are in absolutely no rush and will take their time building up their fighter so it’s unlikely we’ll see him in a mouth-watering 50/50 dust-up just yet, but what fans will treated to is a chance to see one the most exciting prospects in Boxing right now.
After putting in an impressive display on the non-televised card last time round, Jarvis will be hoping that he has done enough to secure a televised slot this time round and if he does, expect fireworks for as long as it lasts.
Tim Tszyu (6-0-0, 5 KOs)
Another of Australia’s bright young prospects, Tim Tszyu brings with him not only his father’s famous name, but his determination to succeed as well as uncanny resemblance both in and outside the ring. Under the watchful eye of Manager Glen Jennings, Tim Tszyu has set about the early parts of his career by fighting across Australia and building experience of fighting on the road – in his first 6 professional fights he has fought in Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Adelaide and New Zealand.
With 5 straight knockouts in his last few fights, Tszyu is showing signs of his potential and is determined to prove he is more than just a famous surname as he steps up against trickier opposition. He was very close to appearing on the original undercard so it would be a shock if there are not plans in place for the young talent to make an appearance for the rematch.
Damien Hooper (13-1-0, 8 KOs)
If Jeff Horn’s win over Manny Pacquiao wasn’t in the script last time round, neither was Damien Hooper’s emphatic victory over Umar Salamov. As a highly talented amateur fighter, Hooper’s professional career has been littered with controversy and questions over his commitment to the sport, coming into the Salamov fight it was widely expected that he would need to be at his best to even last the distance with the 19-0 Russian beast – Hooper was that and more on July 2nd as he boxed his way to the biggest win of his career to capture the IBF and WBO International Titles.
Hooper’s colourful past and less-than-squeaky-clean record will greatly hinder his opportunities to take those titles on the road, so an opportunity to bring in some high-calibre opposition to Australia will certainly appeal and a rematch with Salamov (trained by Kevin Barry) is also reportedly being discussed.
Lucas Browne (25-0-0, 22 KOs)
No stranger to the big stage, the popular and charismatic Heavyweight has struggled to lure opponents to Australia since returning from his suspension earlier this year. Having dispatched of American Heavyweight, Matt Greer with relative in Sydney earlier this year, ‘Big Daddy’ has been relentlessly chasing big fights on Social Media with no luck. Rumours are that he will fight on a stacked Sydney show in October featuring Sakio Bika but with a plan to stay active and the opportunity to fight in front of a global audience again could secure the big man’s signature should Duco choose to bring some heavyweight action to Brisbane.
As far as opponents go, former Heavyweight Title contender, Alex Leapai called out Browne at ringside from the first PAcquiao Horn fight so there’s an easy promotion there between 2 of the best Aussie Heavyweights in recent times. Whether or not Leapai has enough in the tank after a few years out the ring remains to be seen but all-Australian heavyweight dust-up would certainly be fun while it lasted!
Paul Fleming (23-0-0, 15 KOs)
Having been signed to Top Rank, many expected their only Australian prospect to be involved on their first show on Australian soil in July, however a deal was unable to be made and it has now been the best part of ten months since Fleming laced up the gloves. The undefeated indigienous star has all the attributes to reach the pinnacle of the sport and having already proven his mental aptitude through picking up wins on the road in China, Macau and the Phillipines, surely a big-money or big-opportunity fight will present itself soon.
With top Rank returning and now, with an added stake in Australian Boxing via their agreement with Duco for Jeff Horn, there may be an added impetus to invest in their portfolio of fighters down under and Fleming may well find himself a beneficiary of such a move. However, with almost a year out of the ring, he will need to ensure he seizes the opportunity to showcase his talents on the World stage.
Andrew Moloney (14-0-0, 9 KOs)
Coming off the back of a TKO win in Melbourne last weekend to claim the vacant WBA Oceania Super Flyweight Title (Having previously held the same title at Bantumweight), Andrew Moloney is well positioned to continue his ascent up into the World rankings next year. With an excellent amateur pedigree, a strong fan-following and the backing of his promoter, Lynden Hosking, Moloney has everything at his disposal to become one of Australia’s greatest fighters. Having fought most of his career in Melbourne, it’s now time for the young prospect to take his skills on the road and show the rest of Australia what he has to offer.
Big names in the Super-Flyweight division are hard to come by and that may work against Moloney when it comes to piecing together an undercard for the biggest show this year, but the prospect of showcasing his talents may be enough to persuade Duco to bring him into the fold.
Jason Moloney (14-0-0, 11 KOs)
Having just defended his WBA Oceania Super Bantumweight Title, on the same night brother Andrew claimed the Super-featherweight version of the same belt, Jason Moloney is another of the country’s top prospects. Jason, like brother Andrew, has also built himself a reputation as a fantastic boxer and finds himself ranked number 8 with the WBA and 12 with the WBO so a World Title fight in 2018 seems very likely if he can continue this ascent. TJ Doheny of Bondi Boxing Club is ranked above him the WBA so this could be a massive draw fight for the undercard with both fighters bringing a large fan-base.
Moloney has consistently fought top-level opposition as he has developed over the years so, unlike many of his countrymen, he will not find himself out of his depth when he steps in with the top fighters in the division and Doheny is certainly one of them. Having found fights difficult to come by after relocating himself to Boston, the Irishmen may be tempted by a big fight on the undercard of such a big fight and this would certainly be a cracker of a fight if it was to happen.
Trent Broadhurst (20-1-0, 12 KOs)
One of Australia’s best-kept secrets, Trent Broadhurst has been quietly setting about building his professional record over the last few years, winning the IBF Pan-Pacific Light Heavyweight Title and the WBA Oceania Light-Heavyweight Title on the way. An injury in camp has slowed Broadhurst’s progress this year as well as a split with long-time promoter Ange Di Carlo, however now signed with Peter Kahn he is looking to build up some momentum as he looks to push into the top 10 with the major governing bodies – where he is already ranked number 12 with the WBA (just behind Badou Jack who fights for Nathan Cleverley’s World Title this weekend).
One big win could be all Broadhurst needs to push for that elusive World Title shot and with big names in the domestic scene such as Blake Caparello and Damien Hooper (mentioned above), an all-Aussie fight could also be on the cards.
David Toussaint (11-0-0, 8 KOs)
The original show was full of shocks and David Toussaint’s convincing victory over Shane Mosley Jr was one of those, at least for the international audience in attendance. Many across Australia have been tipping Toussaint for greatness for a long time and he showcased exactly why on July 2nd at Suncorp Stadium by dismantling and out-hustling his more famous counterpart.
Now sitting at 11-0, Toussaint is scheduled to fight for the Australian Middleweight Title in September in his home time of Canberra. Should he win that title, a defence on the undercard of the Pacquaio rematch would be a fantastic opportunity for the Canberran and in the stacked Middleweight division he would not be short of suitors – fighters such as Mark Lucas and Adrian Rodriguez are on the hunt for that very title whereas bigger names like Michael Zerafa or Sam Soliman may be enticed by the exposure a fight like this could afford them
Michael Conlan (3-0-0, 3 KOs)
Michael Conlan’s meteoric ascent to fame continued with his destruction of Australian Jarrett Owen on July 2nd and the Top Rank golden boy is set to fight again in September in the USA. Conaln was an undoubted draw in the first fight, bringing in legions of loyal Irish fans and with Top Rank involved again in the show it would make sense if they decided to bring their hottest young prospect with them, especially given his ticket-selling ability.
Conlan has stated on multiple occasions that he is looking to make a fast climb up the Boxing ladder so we should expect to see him in against higher-ranked opposition from here on out as he looks to push on for a World Title in 2018.
Terence Crawford (32-0-0, 23 KOs)
Perhaps the most left-field of my picks, Terence Crawford, fresh from becoming the first Undisputed Champion at any weight since Jermain Taylor in 2005, seems likely to move up 147lbs very soon, the same weight Manny Pacquaio and Jeff Horn will be fighting at and it has long been suspected that Crawford would eventually get his shot against the Pac Man and what better way to set that up than to fight on the same show with an agreement to fight the winner?
Crawford is a big name in Boxing circles but outside of the purists he is still not a huge draw, an emphatic debut win at 147lbs on the undercard of PacHorn2 could offer the profile boost outside of Nebraska that he, and Top Rank, have been clamouring for. It would almost certainly mean Top Rank would have to shell out more for the undercard than they would usually like, and this may prove to be the stumbling block but if it does happen then Australian fans that flock to the rematch will be the real winners.