WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) is being talked about defending his title against #3 WBO Bradley Skeete (27-1, 12 KOs) on November 12 in Brisbane, Australia.
Skeete, 29, would be the replacement for Manny Pacquiao, who couldn’t make the November date for a rematch against Horn due to his prior commitments in the senate in the Philippines.
It was expected that Horn would face a beatable guy for this defense, because there’s a lot of money for him to make in a rematch with Pacquiao.
If Horn slips up and gets beaten by someone, he could forget about a rematch with Pacquiao. Skeete is a fairly safe pick for Horn. I wouldn’t say that Skeete is entirely safe, considering he’s a very good mover. He’s not going to stand in front of Horn and let him charge straight into him with his head lowered to ram him head-first like he was getting away with against Pacquiao for 12 rounds last July. Skeete isn’t the type that just stands that in front of his opponents. He uses his feet, boxes, jabs and looks to beat his opponents with his ring smarts.
Horn showed in the Pacquiao fight that he’s pretty flawed, and he can be beaten by a fighter that throws continuous combinations. Skeete is capable of doing that, and he’s got good size at 6’1” compared to Horn’s 5’9” height.
Skeete is a light puncher, and less of a threat than #2 WBO Lucas Matthysse or #9 WBO Jessie Vargas. Both of those guys would be tough outs he 29-year-old for Horn for his first defense of his World Boxing Organization 147 lb. title. Horn wanted to face Pacquiao in a rematch. That’s the fight that the Australian boxing fans want to see. Horn barely beat Pacquiao this summer on July 2 in a questionable 12 round unanimous decision win.
Skeete’s only loss of his career was to Frankie Gavin in losing a close 12 round unanimous decision on November 29, 2014. Skeete has won his last 9 fights since then. His best wins during the last 3 years have come against Sam Eggington, John Thain, Shayne Singleton, Dale Evens and Brunet Zamora. Skeete’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Eggington in March 5 of last year. It was a close win with Skeete getting the decision by the scores 117-112, 116-113, 115-113. It was hard fight for Skeete, but he got the better of the volume punching Eggington.
Top Rank co-promotes Horn, and obviously they’re not going to take any chances with him by putting him in with someone that could beat him. What we saw from Horn is he’s not someone that is good enough to be counted on to beat the best.