MANILA, Philippines — Former two-time world boxing champion Gerry Peñalosa said yesterday he wasn’t impressed by WBO welterweight titlist Jeff Horn’s recent 11th round stoppage of British challenger Gary Corcoran in Brisbane but warned Manny Pacquiao that in the event of a rematch, the Filipino icon must be 100 percent ready.
Horn had to shed 7.8 pounds in 24 hours to make the welterweight limit for the Pacquiao fight last July and cut down 8 pounds, also in 24 hours, for Corcoran. He’s been advised to relinquish the welterweight crown and move up to superwelterweight because of weight issues. But Horn said he won’t leave the 147-pound division at least until after defending against unified superlightweight ruler Terence Crawford for a $5 Million payday.
Horn was paid only $750,000 for halting Corcoran in the first defense of the WBO crown he wrested from Pacquiao. Only 4,000 fans watched the bout, a major slide from the attendance of 51,025 for the Pacquiao fight. Horn’s guaranteed another $750,000 for his next defense unless a promoter offers an upgrade. Pacquiao dangled a $3 Million invitation for a rematch in Manila but Horn refused, opting to face Corcoran instead for a much lower purse. Clearly, Horn wants nothing to do with Pacquiao.
Peñalosa said Horn’s only chance to beat Crawford is if the American tires out in the late rounds. “If the fight happens, I expect Crawford to start strong and go for an early knockout,” he said. “If Horn survives, Crawford could get tired and that will open an opportunity. It’s Horn’s style to run you over.”
Against Corcoran, Peñalosa said Horn tried to do what he did to Pacquiao. Twice, he threw down Corcoran. But Corcoran, who looked bigger, gave Horn plenty of trouble in the early going until he ran out of steam. With his face a bloody mess, Corcoran was defenseless when his corner threw in the towel. Peñalosa described Corcoran an ordinary fighter and Horn average. He said Horn appeared more confident against Corcoran than when he fought Pacquiao.
“If Manny fights Horn in a rematch, he has to be prepared,” said Peñalosa. “In their first fight, Manny almost knocked out Horn in the ninth round but after that, he was out of gas. I left the stadium when I saw Manny looking exhausted after the ninth and went to a restaurant where the fight was on TV. I couldn’t watch. Horn’s nothing special. But he’s younger and bigger than Manny. The only way Manny can beat Horn is if he has the stamina to go 12 rounds without tiring. That will mean taking time off from his duties at the Senate to train like he used to for his fights against (Oscar) De la Hoya, (Marco Antonio) Barrera and (Erik) Morales.”
Horn has been offered a $2 Million purse to face another Australian Anthony Mundine but he’s chasing Crawford to mark his Las Vegas debut. Pacquiao isn’t in his sights at the moment even if the price is more than right. Pacquiao hasn’t fought since losing to Horn. He’s hinting of returning to the ring in April, possibly in China. No opponent has been mentioned. It appears that Pacquiao will self-promote his next fight as his contract with Top Rank has expired.