With negotiations underway for a Jeff Horn-Manny Pacquiao rematch – the target date being November, once again in Australia – Horn and his team have made one thing clear: they will call for random drug testing to be implemented ahead of the fight.
The new WBO welterweight champion’s trainer Glenn Rushton told The Sydney Morning Herald that in no way does he want to risk Pacquiao “trying to get an unfair advantage.” Horn doesn’t accuse Pacquiao of anything, but he says he wants to be 100-percent sure of a “level playing field” in the rematch.
“It is something I’d bring up because what I don’t want is for them to go ‘The only way I can win this fight is if we are trying to get an unfair advantage.’ I would certainly be very mindful of that. We want the big fights, but we want an even playing field,” Rushton said. “I’m very happy with any drug testing. I signed Jeff up for the WBC-VADA clean boxing program, which means you can be tested at any time. As an Olympian, we’re used to this sort of drug testing. We’ve had to do this many times. He’s clean as a whistle.”
So will Pac Man and his team agree to random drugs testing being put in place ahead of the rematch? Why wouldn’t they? Pacquiao wants revenge, and badly, so it’s likely he will agree to Horn’s request on this matter. Of course, if he doesn’t, people will wonder why and be suspicious of the former multi-weight champ.
Meanwhile, Bob Arum is looking at a suitable venue for the return fight.
“We need to figure out where the fight will be,” Arum told ESPN. “The problem is we can’t have it outdoors again because of the weather [in Brisbane]. November is the summer there and it’s brutal to do it outdoors. We can’t do it. Even in July, which is their winter, it was pretty hot outdoors.”
Wherever the rematch is fought, Horn’s trainer says a repeat win is an absolute must: “If we thought it (the win in July) was a fluke, we would be dodging it,” he said. “But we’re saying let’s do it again, next time we’ll make it more convincing.”
Will it be a case of repeat or revenge in November?