Today while listening to the radio I heard a pair of advertisements for Manny Pacquiao’s fight this weekend with Jeff Horn. In the spots, Horn was referred to as Australia’s “No. 1 ranked world contender.”
I truly winced to hear such dishonesty offered up on the public air waves.
I asked myself: Who could be responsible for such an affront to the truth? Because it no universe can a person who values honestly claim that Jeff Horn is any sort “No. 1 world contender.” He’s barely a contender at all.
But later in the day I checked and sure enough, the World Boxing Organization has Jeff Horn (he of but 16 wins and not a one of them over another contender) ranked No. 1 in the world at welterweight, behind only their champion, Manny Pacquiao.
This is laughable, even by alphabet soup standards.
Listen, I am not inclined to be overly critical of Pacquiao for fighting Horn. It’s not much worse than when Floyd Mayweather fought Andre Berto. The fight won’t really prove anything for Pacquiao, but he does not need to prove anything at this point in his career. He has at least 10 wins over certifiable Hall of Famers. He’s an all-time great.
And in no way do I fault Horn for taking the fight. It’s the sort of lottery ticket prizefighters dream about cashing in.
But there is just no excusing the WBO’s ranking of Horn at No. 1 in the world. It’s an insult to the intelligence. It’s an affront to integrity.
And it underlines just how idiotic the alphabet soup rankings tend to be. It’s why I do not even bother to keep track of them, despite being a hardcore fan and writer.
Manny Pacquiao is certainly a very credible alphabet champion. But if you are going to designate him your champion, the next two welterweights in the world have to be Errol Spence (IBF champion) and Keith Thurman (WBA and WBC), in some sort of order.
If you are going to choose not to rank other organization’s champions (a dishonest gesture) than you still can’t justify ranking Horn over the likes of Timothy Bradley, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Jessie Vargas or Lamont Peterson.
I can’t see any justification for ranking him over Lucas Matthysse or Felix Diaz. He certainly does not deserve to rank above Adrien Broner at welterweight, or Adrian Granados. Or Luis Collazo or Robert Guerrero.
And how do you rank him over David Peralta, who beat Guerrero in his last fight? How does he rank over Sam Eggington, for that matter? Or Konstantin Ponomarev? Or even Andre Berto or Brandon Rios or Chris Algieri?
I could go on and on here. It’s questionable to place Jeff Horn anywhere within the top 25 at 147 pounds.
If you want to argue he is one of the 25 best fighters in the world at that weight, fair enough. That’s your opinion.
But you’d be hard-pressed to justify it based on his resume.
And yet the WBO has him all the way up there as No. 1 in the world.
Just one more example of thin, putrid alphabet-soup gruel.