Jeff Horn vs Mundine: Aussies giddy over "superfight?"
Jeff Horn is a fine example of what can happen when an unknown "opponent" who is not supposed to win defeats a highly-favored star or champion, even if that win was controversial.
Following his upset of superstar Manny Pacquiao in 2017, Horn became a celebrity overnight (literally) in his native Australia.
In addition to all of the love and attention he garnered in Oz, Horn was paid $1.75 Million for his subsequent shot against superstar Terence Crawford last June. It was a courageous and gutty effort by the Aussie but he was no match for the American who had won every round prior to the fight being stopped in Round 9.
Per News.com.au, Jeff Horn (18-1) vs Anthony Mundine (48-8, 28 KO) is looking strong for November 30 and the two former world champs are eying a $8 million purse split from a possible 200,000+ PPV buys.
Will they reach 200K buys?
The all-Aussie affair between Anthony Mundine and Danny Green in February 2017 did just that - or more - so don't be surprised if Horn vs Mundine performs even better given Jeff's stock there is still sky high. In fact, according to News.com.au, "Promoters are promising the biggest boxing extravaganza Australia has seen," due in part to a sizzling undercard that will compliment the main event.
At 43, Mundine has been an Australian staple in boxing for years. In addition to his two fights with Danny Green, Mundine, campaigning from junior middleweight to light heavyweight, has shared the ring with the likes of Shane Mosley, Daniel Geale, Bronco McKart, Garth Wood, Joshua Clottey and Sam Soliman.
But despite his 2013 TKO win over a shot legend in Mosley, Mundine is just 4-4 in his last eight bouts.
The agreed upon catchweight is 156.5 lbs (or 71 kg), which shouldn't a problem for the 30 year old welterweight who is enormous for his division. Mundine, on the other hand, might be depleted at that weight given his age and the fact he fought Danny Green at 175.5 lbs last year. Mundine was back down to 160 for his KO win over Tommy Browne in January but one must wonder what it will take to get him down another 3.5 pounds if he even plans to meet the catchweight stipulation.
Per their contract, Mundine must pay Horn more than $1 million if the former is more than 2kg (4.4 pounds) above the agreed weight limit of 71kg for the bout. If correctly understood, Mundine could enter the 156.5 catchweight bout at 160.9 lbs and not have to pay Horn a penalty fee.
Credit to the Aussies
Although Mundine is over the hill and Horn was dominated and KO'd in his most recent fight, Australians will embrace Horn vs Mundine for all of the right reasons. Two famous Aussies with vastly different backstories will cross paths and fight for the hearts of Oz.
This fight is a big deal, and deservedly so.
Expect Horn vs Mundine to be a symbolic ‘passing of the (Australian) torch’ from the old great Aussie to the new kid. Perhaps Australia will subsequently rally around Horn the same way the Philippines backs Pacquiao?
And speaking of Pacquiao...
Should the Mayweather rematch not come to fruition, Pacquiao & Co might want to reconsider a rematch with Horn.
The first fight offered controversy, drama, intrigue and bad blood... Why not a rematch? It would generate a lot of money and serve as a nice 'revenge and respect' bout for both fighters. Manny wants to avenge the loss (which many think was undeserved) and Jeff wants to prove he's the real deal and wasn’t gifted an erroneous verdict.
The Downside: Although a Horn rematch would create buzz, Jeff is an abnormally big welterweight who is tough and resourceful; and his awkward, mauling style could make for another ugly, messy fight.