Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn predictions ahead of the world welterweight title showdown in Brisbane, Australia.

Seven or eight years ago when Manny Pacquiao was amidst his boxing takeover, a fight against an unknown, untested contender, ranked highly by the governing bodies would have been a smart move.

Pacquiao 59-6-2(38KO’s) was still must-watch TV with his aggressive nature and thirst for a knockout. Pacquiao was consistently in the ring, two times a year or three times in a 15-month period.

The Jeff Horn’s of this world between 2008-2011 would have drawn interest, but the 2017 version of Manny Pacquiao needs the right dancing partner to draw the crowd’s attention.

His last two opponents since defeat to long-time rival Floyd Mayweather have been of the highest calibre. Yet, Pacquiao’s ease in which he won has only furthered the former pound-for-pound king further down the line in boxing’s hottest attractions.

In that case, taking on the unproven Jeff Horn 16-0-1(11KO’s) in his backyard of Australia may not be such a bad move. He’s still making millions, selling out another stadium, and likely keeping himself fresh for more fights ahead.

But while most aren’t necessarily after a Pacquiao defeat, they are looking for a ceremonious changing of the guard. And with Super Lightweight star Terence Crawford under the same Top Rank banner, one must wonder why this fight seems to be drifting away.

For now, all Pacquiao can do is win. And all the fans of the sport can do is wait.

As the Inter-Continental champion, Horn is the mandatory challenger to Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight title. It’s an obligation that every fighter faces, but often with the status in the sport that ‘Pacman’ holds, we often see these contests avoided.

Horn has earned his stripes, and under the governing bodies rules, earned his title shot. But that does not take away from the fact that the WBO’s number 1 challenger, probably just squeezes into most people’s top 15 rankings of the division.

In a busy 2016, Horn forced an aged Randall Bailey into a corner retirement, dominated and stopped the capable Rico Mueller in 9, before stopping three-time world title challenger Ali Funeka in the 6th.

Pacquiao’s snap has gone from his finishing in recent years and at 38, with three-fights in two years, the once lightning fists of the Filipino may be slowing down.

But many forget that Pacquiao should still be rated amongst the top three pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, and he eased to victories over both Jessie Vargas and Timothy Bradley last year.

If Pacquiao is not the fighter he once was, then that only proves just how good he “once was”.7

Both Bradley and Vargas are elite Welterweights, and thus far we have not seen any proof that Horn belongs in that same bracket.

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It seems that Horn brings little more to the table than an outgunned Chris Algieri did in 2014, and the result will be just as conclusive.

The knockdowns will pile up as the speed and reflexes prove too much for Horn to fathom.

The challenger could likely last the distance, but with many years ahead to rebuild, it is likely he will be saved from a one-sided affair around the 8th round.

Elsewhere, Jerwin Ancajas 26-1-1(17KO’s) of the Philippines defends his IBF Super Flyweight title on the undercard.

Ancajas won the belt from McJoe Arroyo on home turf last September, and makes the second defence of the belt.

In his way is Japan’s Teiru Kinoshita 25-1-1(8KO’s), and a former title challenger for the same belt.

That night he was beaten on points by the impressive Zolani Tete in Japan and he will suffer a similar reverse here with a 12-round loss in an entertaining affair. Ancajas UD

In Russia, Eduard Troyanovsky 25-1(22KO’s) returns for the first time since his crushing first round loss to Julius Indongo.

Troyanovsky was pole-axed in the opener by the now IBF and WBA Light Welterweight ruler, but the former IBF champ should return with a comfortable win over Michele Di Rocco 41-2-1(18KO’s).

Di Rocco has only fought once since a May 2016 stoppage loss to Ricky Burns, and at 35 is unlikely to move himself back into higher company. Troyanovsky TKO 5