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Pacquiao wants Horn rematch in Philippines or U.S

Manny Pacquiao

By Allan Fox: desire to have his rematch against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) in the Philippines or the United States rather than in Australia, which is where their previous fight took place on July 2.

Pacquiao, 38, lost that fight by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao wants to avoid a repeat of that fight, and he’s hoping to be able to have a say so in the selecting of the judges for the fight.

Pacquiao might not make the same kind of money if he chooses to fight outside of Australia. At some point, Arum will have a long talk Pacquiao and let him know where he can make the most money. If Pacquiao has a say so in the location of the fight, which is unclear, then he’ll need to make a decision whether to take the lesser money to get the fight where he wants it to take place.

It would be interesting to see if Horn would be willing to fight Pacquiao in the Philippines, U.S or Dubai. It would be Horn’s best chance for a payday though. Horn fights other guys, he’s not likely to attract as much interest from his Australian boxing fans.

Horn doesn’t have the talent to hold onto his WBO title for a long time. If he fights the wrong guy, he’ll get beaten. Horn probably should have lost the last time he fought. But if faces someone like Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman, those guys will look to KO Horn and take the judges out of the fight. Horn can’t beat those guys by roughing them up, because they have too much size and strength. The tactics that Horn used to beat Pacquiao wouldn’t work against Spence and Thurman.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has already said that the rematch would likely take place in Australia. It’s unclear whether that’s part of the original contract for the fight. If so, then Pacquiao won’t have any choice but to fight the 29-year-old Horn in Australia again.

It’s hard to believe Pacquiao would have signed off on a rematch clause that states that he has to fight Horn again in Australia. That would be a real blunder if so. It was arguably a huge mistake for Pacquiao to fight Horn the first time in Australia, because the fight didn’t resemble a boxing match. It looked like Pacquiao was fighting an MMA fighter, who appeared to be using all types of roughhouse tactics to gain an advantage of the Filipino star.

“I really want to have a rematch against Horn,” said Pacquiao to the Manila Times. ”Although I haven’t formally talked with them yet, there is a rematch clause in our contract and there is a possibility I am going to exercise that. We will do our best to bring the fight here in the Philippines as we look also for sponsors. If not here, we are considering to bring the fight to Dubai or possibly in the United States,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao already tried to get a fight in Dubai in the past for a fight against Amir Khan, and the money wasn’t there. What makes Pacquiao believe that anything will change now? I don’t think it will. Pacquiao vs. Horn wouldn’t sell in the U.S. I doubt their rematch would even sellout a smaller venue at this point. Horn is a no name as far as the casual boxing fans go, and the hardcore fans aren’t going to want to see that fight. Horn didn’t look great against Pacquiao last July. Horn just looked great at roughing him up.

If Pacquiao can’t get the rematch outside of Horn’s home country of Australia, then he’s going to need to decide whether he wants to deal with a potential second controversial decision if he’s unable to knock Horn out. Pacquiao has to change the way he fights, because he might not get any assistance from the referee in policing he fouling from Horn. It’s almost a given that Horn is going to go back to the roughhouse tactics that he used last time. They worked for Horn and helped him get the win over Pacquiao, even though many boxing fans thought Horn lost. That means if the referee is going to let Horn fight like he did last time, then Pacquiao can expect to be roughed up from start to finish.

Horn will have the size advantage, and he’s not afraid to use it by throwing his weight around in a football style of fighting. I’m NFL football, not soccer. Horn did a good job of lowering his head and ramming Pacquiao all night long in their fight on July 2. By the end of the fight, Pacquiao was a bloody mess from 2 cuts from Horn’s accidental head-butts. Some boxing fans think the head-butts from Horn weren’t accidental. How do you know for sure whether the head-butts were intentional or not on Horn’s part? It’s impossible to tell.

I’d be very surprised if Pacquiao has a say so in where the rematch takes place. The way that Arum has been talking, it sounds like the fight has to be staged in the Australia. Again, if that was written into the contract, then Pacquiao shouldn’t have ever signed it. Floyd Mayweather Jr. likely would have walked away if he saw language in a contract where he had to fight his opponent TWICE in a row in their home country. Of course, Mayweather likely wouldn’t have given Horn the advantage in the first place. Mayweather would have known better to put himself in a situation where he would potentially have needed a knockout just to get the win.

ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas is one of the many people in the boxing world who felt that Pacquiao was robbed in the Horn fight. That didn’t sit too well for Horn, because he felt that Atlas shouldn’t have given his opinion on the fight the way that he did.

” I want my last fight to be held here in the Philippines and that fight will be under the MP Promotion,” said Pacquiao.

Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton is talking about having the rematch with Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia once again. He’s talking about having air conditioners brought in to help cool the fighters. There’s also a possibility that the Pacquiao-Horn 2 fight could take place in Melbourne at the Etihad Stadium, which seats, 56,000 boxing fans.

”We’re looking at the first half of December,” said Rushton to the about the timing of the Horn vs. Pacquiao 2 rematch. ”I want Jeff to be the only man in history to have beaten Pacquiao twice. Manny’s pride is at stake. He has always done well in rematches and he needs money to fund his lifestyle and his huge charity projects so he will be confident of revenge.”

It sounds like Rushton and Horn have their minds made up that the Pacquiao rematch will take place in Australia. If Pacquiao doesn’t want that to happen, then he should tell Arum and move on to someone else. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean Pacquiao will only be given a one fighter option from Arum in him offering him Terence Crawford as his Plan-B. I don’t think Pacquiao wants that fight. Unfortunately, with the way that Arum tends to match Pacquiao, Horn is probably his best bet for a big payday. But if Pacquiao agrees to a second fight, he could be dealing with the same judging and referee issue he dealt with the first time around.

Pacquiao has the ability to take the judges out of the fight if he goes after Horn the way that he needs to for him to get a knockout. If Pacquiao isn’t badly in need of the biggest payday possible for his next fight, then he can certainly move on and find someone else to fight other than Horn. However, Horn is likely the biggest payday available for Pacquiao unless he were to face someone like Saul Canelo Alvarez, and that’s obviously not going to happen. The 147-lb. division has dried up as far as big names go. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is at the end of his career and only interested in an easy fight against UFC fighter Conor McGregor. Mayweather isn’t going to come back to boxing and face Pacquiao again. The fight wouldn’t sell anyway at this point.

Horn says he’s going to change his fighting style for the rematch to keep Pacquiao from adjusting defeat the way he fought last time. What that means is Horn will likely be using an in an out style of fighting rather than a come forward aggressive style like he employed the last time he fought him. Horn will likely do a lot of holding to smother Pacquiao’s offense when he’s trying to go on the attack. The idea behind Horn holding frequently is to slow down the pace of the fight, and minimize Pacquiao’s high volume attack.

If Pacquiao is training to throw 100 punches per round to try and knock Horn out, he might not be able to do that if he’s going to clinch between 8 to 12 times per round to stall out Pacquiao’s offense. Ideally, the referee will penalize Horn if he clinches excessively, but you can’t count on that happening. If the fight is in Australia, then there’s no guarantee the referee will enforce the excessive clinching rule to stop Horn from gaming the system to slow down the fight to a crawl.

Pacquiao should put his foot down and tell Arum where he wants to fight

It’s up to Pacquiao to decide where he wants to fight Horn in the rematch. He can stop all the talk of the Horn rematch taking place in Australia by telling Horn and Arum that he will NEVER fight him in Australia. If Horn doesn’t agree with that, then the two fighters can go their separate ways. Pacquiao would have to be assertive though. If it’s written in the contract that he has to fight Horn in Australia, then that’s how it’s going to have to be. If Pacquiao wants to avenge his loss to Horn badly enough, then he’ll fight him again. There are a lot of other fighters out there in the boxing world that would jump at the chance to fight Pacquiao if Arum was willing to do business with their promoters. If Arum wants Pacquiao to fight a specific fighter, say Terence Crawford, and then it’s unlikely that Arum would work with an outside promoter to make a fight between Pacquiao and their fighter.

Juan Manuel Marquez arguably beat Horn to it in defeating Pacquiao more than once, but Marquez didn’t get credit for it. There are a lot of boxing fans that believe that Marquez deserved wins in all 4 of the Pacquiao fights. In looking at those fights, it’s hard to disagree with the fans. Marquez DID appear to beat Pacquiao 4 times, but the judges gave Pacquiao 2 wins that he arguably didn’t deserve and a draw. Marquez got upset for the fourth fight with Pacquiao and trained to knock him out, which is what he did in knocking Pacquiao unconscious in the 6th round in 2012. That was the final fight between the two fighters.

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