Two things seem certain when it comes to Jeff Horn, the undefeated WBO welterweight champ: he will fight again, in Australia before the end of the year, and it will not be against Manny Pacquiao.
Pac Man, who shockingly lost to Horn on July 2, has stated how he still wants a return fight with Horn, but not until next year as he is busy with his many Senatorial duties. But Horn wishes to stay active and right now a suitable, top-10 rated fighter is being negotiated. A day ago, a news story broke saying how Britain’s Bradley Skeete, 27-1(12) and the reigning WBO European welterweight champion, had got the big fight, but Dean Lonergan of Duco who promote Horn has issued an official statement saying that this report was guilty of being premature.
Negotiations continue, Lonergan said in his statement, with an undisclosed number of WBO top-10 ranked fighters being in consideration for a November fight with Horn – a fight Lonergan aims to make sure takes place in Brisbane; scene of “The Hornet’s” massive win over Pacquiao.
We know that Skeete is in the running, as is former WBO champ Jessie Vargas, but that leaves eight other suitably ranked welterweight contenders who Horn could conceivably make his very first title defence against. In terms of British fight fans, it is to be hoped that Skeete does indeed get the big opportunity after all. Tall, fast and possessing good boxing skills, Skeete actually wanted a fight with Pacquiao, recently stating how he was sure he had Manny’s number.
Now the 29 year old from London might get a crack at Pacquiao’s conqueror. Beaten only by Frankie Gavin who decisioned him back in November of 2014, Skeete has won nine fights since, five of them inside the distance (perhaps suggesting Skeete’s punching power has increased some since losing in his first attempt to win the British welterweight title).
Vargas is a bigger name of course, but Skeete, who retained the British title in his last fight in July, is hungry for his first shot at winning a world title.