Going into the July 2 fight between superstar Manny Pacquiao and largely unheralded challenger Jeff Horn, practically everyone saw it as pretty much a straightforward win for Pac Man. And when promoter Bob Arum spoke about how unbeaten Horn had a decent shot at scoring the upset most fans put this down to the Top Rank boss simply doing his utmost to sell the fight.
But going into the rematch – pencilled in for Brisbane, Australia (site of the first fight) on November 12 – plenty of people are wondering who will win. Was the decision win Horn won in taking the WBO welterweight crown a fluke, or can “The Hornet” sting a second time? Arum, in speaking with The Star, said that in his opinion, it’s anybody’s fight; 50/50.
“I think it’s an even fight. It’s a fifty-fifty fight,” Arum said. “In Australia, Horn should be the favourite and in the United States and in the betting Manny will be the favourite. It seems to me that a lot of people did not give Horn much of a chance in the first fight and now that he’s won the fight everybody will look at it as a much more competitive fight.”
Not only did the first fight end up being a big upset, it was also a good action fight, with Horn showing incredible heart to get through a torrid ninth round. Can Pac Man make a faster start in the rematch as he rolls back the years, or will the nearly ten years younger man manage to repeat his win? If Pacquiao does lose to Horn for a second time it could well signal the end of his great career.
However, should he get revenge, Pacquiao could decide to fight on – he has hinted that he will do so after November and box into 2018. Horn-Pacquiao fight-one was a Super Fight in Australia only. The rematch will be one of the hottest fights on the remaining 2017 boxing calendar.
I Wonder what Manny thinks about his promoter saying he is heading into a 50/50 fight?