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The first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn went the full distance. In the end, the judges scored in favor of the young Australian. This was Jeff Horns first title fight and after a long and testing exchange with one of the world’s greatest ever fighters, a unanimous decision by the judges saw the Aussie take the win and with it, the WBO championship.
Since the fight, Pacquiao’s camp have insisted a Pacquiao vs Horn rematch is on the cards. But will we see it happen this year? Considering the impressive stamina that was on show in first fight by both athletes, the upset of Horns victory, and Pacquiao’s race against retirement, it’s easy to imagine a rematch having the potential to become an even bigger blockbuster than the original bout. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most compelling factors surrounding this highly anticipated follow-up fight.
Manny Pacquiao was everyone’s favourite to win the original fight, named “The Battle of Brisbane”. The loss is a huge blow to Pacquiao – one of the most successful fighters of all time. The 38-year-old Philippines senator was tipped to take the win by many of boxings leading figures, and his loss has reignited pressure on Pacquiao to retire from the sport in order to avoid further damage to his legacy.
Pacquiao’s long time coach, Freddie Roach, was certain his fighter would walk away the victor in Brisbane, predicting a “short and sweet” knockout win long before the final bell. A lot of critics have suggested the points decision made by the judges was heavily influenced by the imposing Aussie filled crowd that dominated the arena on the night. Pacquiao seems to have his sight firmly set on a second fight with Horn. He has since voiced his intentions and expressed his unquestionable desire to have a rematch arranged.
"That’s the decision of the judges. I respect that," ESPN quoted Pacquiao saying. "We have a rematch clause, so no problem."
If a Pacquiao vs Horn rematch actually takes place, it’ll be huge for a number of reasons. Not only is it a shot for Pacquiao to regain the title and avenge his loss to Horn, it might also be the last time we ever see Pacquiao compete in a high stakes blockbuster title fight.
The Battle of Brisbane attracted a mighty 51,052-strong crowd. It was a mammoth occasion that delivered an incredible atmosphere. As you would expect, the roar produced by 50,000 Horn supporters reached deafening heights throughout the fights many dramatic moments. Given the gravity of this rivalry, Pacquiao’s impending retirement, and the show that was produced in the original fight, we’d have to say that no matter where the rematch takes place, It’ll be an unmissable sell out event without question.
A second fight wouldn’t take place in Brisbane, but there are rumours circling that the rematch could potentially be held in Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium. Keeping the fight in Australia has two crucial economic advantages.
The first, is the overwhelming support Horn attracts from Australian fans. They’re loud, proud, and evidently play a huge role in helping to deliver an occasion with bags of buzz. On top of that, Melbourne is a thriving hub for tourism in its own right, and an event of this magnitude would be right at home in a city that is perfectly poised to welcome a worldwide audience.
Pacquiao refused to participate in the post-fight press conference and avoided all immediate interviews following his loss to Horn in Brisbane. He had sustained a severe cut above his eye that required urgent medical attention which his camp pushed as the reason for his reluctance to face the media. Most would agree, the greatest injury he likely suffered on the night would have been to his pride. But is this sting enough to drive him back into the ring? Many believe Pacquiao’s boxing career is a ticking time bomb waiting to give way to his interests in his political ambitions.
To come back and prepare for a second title fight takes supreme levels of drive, ambition, and determination. It’s easy to imagine how such a feat looks increasingly difficult for ex-champion Manny Pacquiao, approaching 40, who’s seen it all, won it all, and now has a promising political career to distract him. It’s a tall ask, and many in the world of boxing would agree, if he loses a second time to Horn, it’ll almost certainly be curtains for Pacquiao’s illustrious boxing career.
Nothing is set in stone yet. However Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promotor, has come out and said that a Pacquiao vs Horn rematch would likely take place in Australia this November, when the Phillipines Senate is typically in recess. A lot of things including television networks, arena availability, fighter availability, and timezones need to be taken into consideration before a date is finalised. Should the fight take place, Sportsnet Holidays would hope to be appointed as official travel agent as we were with the first bout. So if you’re interested in potentially joining us for the Pacquiao vs Horn rematch, click below to register and we’ll be in touch as soon as more details are available!