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Pacquiao to think hard about whether to continue career

Manny Pacquiao

By Jeff Aranow: Manny Pacquiao says he’s going to sit down and considering whether he should his boxing career in order to face Jeff Horn in a potential rematch later this year. The 38-year-old Pacquiao has returned to his home country of the Philippines after losing disappointing 12 round unanimous decision to underdog Horn last Sunday night at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Pacquiao was not supposed to lose the fight, but he found himself involved in a physical fight that he wasn’t prepared for. Horn was roughing Pacquiao up the entire fight without the referee Mark Nelson stepping in to chastise Horn and take points away. Pacquiao is unhappy with the way Nelson worked the fight.

Pacquiao feels that it wouldn’t have been a problem with Horn fighting a dirty fight if the referee Nelson had done his job to stop him. Nelson wasn’t controlling the fight in an assertive manner to stop Horn from what Pacquiao saying fighting dirty. Pacquiao could have made adjustments to deal with Horn’s rough fighting style by using movement, fighting dirty or focusing on combination punching. He didn’t do that though. That was a mistake on Pacquiao’s part.

Pacquiao’s wife and also his trainer Freddie Roach have both spoken up wanting him to retire from boxing. He plans on thinking it over before he makes his decision. If Pacquiao does retire, it’ll likely make his promoter Bob Arum unhappy, because he’s already talking about a rematch between Pacquiao and Horn.

There’s a rematch clause in the contact for the fight that Pacquiao invoke. Even if there wasn’t a rematch clause, Pacquiao would easily get the rematch, because that’s the best option for Horn right now for a big payday. If Horn fights some of the other fighters from Arum’s Top Rank stable like Terence Crawford, Tim Bradley or Jessie Vargas, it wouldn’t nearly be as big a fight as if he could get Pacquiao again in a rematch.

“I am also considering the opinion of people, the opinion of my family and my body,” Pacquiao said to AFP. “I plan to relax first and recover from the pains in my body and then after that, when I have already relaxed, that’s when I will think hard about it.”

Without good officials working the rematch, it might not be worth it for Pacquiao to fight Horn again. If he’s going to be dealing with questionable judging and a referee that stands and watching him get fouled for 12 rounds, it’s probably not the best idea for Pacquiao to come back to Australia for a second fight. A rematch that takes place in another country like the U.S would be ideal for Pacquiao. However, Pacquiao isn’t in the position to get his way when it comes to the venue for a second fight with the 29-year-old Horn. If the only option on the table is Pacquiao going back to Australia, then it’s best that he move in another direction to either retire or fight someone else.

A knockout artist like Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman would do well fighting Horn in Australia, as they would be looking to knock him out. They both have the power to stop Horn without the fight going to the scorecards. It wouldn’t have Horn decided to foul those fighters all night long, because they punch really hard and it’s unlikely that Horn would see the 6th round. He’s too easy to hit.

Pacquiao fighting Horn twice instead of just once might be a little hard for him to get motivated for. Pacquiao fought well enough to win last Saturday night. The judges thought that Horn had done enough to win, but the outcome of the fight was even more controversial than Pacquiao’s first fight against Tim Bradley. Pacquiao appeared to win that fight, but the judges gave Bradley the win. Now it’s the same thing with Pacquiao looking better than Horn, but still losing. Pacquiao landed twice as many shots as Horn.

“There is no problem with the style of Jeff Horn if he plays dirty, because there is a referee,” Pacquiao said. “The problem here is that the referee, I don’t know if he did it deliberately or he just did not have experience, he just allowed it and did not even give any warning for how many times. It’s as if the referee wanted to help my opponent.”

It’s been a while since Pacquiao was involved in a physical fight. He didn’t seem to be ready for that type of approach by Horn. If he and his trainer Freddie Roach had taken a good luck at video of Horn’s past fights, they would have seen that he sometimes makes it physical with his opponents. Pacquiao said before the fight that he hadn’t seen much of Horn’s past fights.

In hindsight, Pacquiao needed to do more homework on the fighting style of Horn before fought him, because he should have known what he was getting himself into by fighting him. There was no way for Pacquiao to know that the referee wouldn’t warn or take points off from Horn, but this is something he still should have planned for. The fight took place in Australia, the home country of Horn.

It doesn’t take a big leap of the imagination to assume that the judges might score the close rounds in favor of the home fighter Horn, and then referee to be passive when it came to controlling Horn’s roughhouse tactics.

If Pacquiao fights Horn again, he’ll have a different referee and judges. But if the same thing happens again, then he’s going to need to realize that it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s hard to imagine a referee allowing Horn to fight the way he did last Saturday. Those things happen. Some referees choose to take hands off approach to controlling the physical rule-bending styles of some fighters. Pacquiao played it clean, but his opponent Horn got an extra edge by rouging him up.

Pacquiao has retired last year after his third fight with Tim Bradley last April. Pacquiao came back last November to beat WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas. There was talk of Pacquiao fighting Amir Khan in a fight in Abu Dhabu. Both fighters announced on their social media sites that they were going to take part in a “super fight” in the UAE. There was supposed to be big money for both fighters. Pacquiao created a poll on his Twitter account asking the boxing fans to pick out his next opponent. Khan came in first on the poll, whereas Jeff Horn was last. The fans weren’t interest in seeing Pacquiao fight Horn. Pacquiao and Khan were supposed to fight each other on May 19. However, Arum chose to match Pacquiao against Horn instead.

Pacquiao was humble after losing the fight to Horn, saying, “I’m professional. I respect the judges.” Pacquiao has since become a little more vocal about his disappointment in losing.

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