Well that didn’t take long. Former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn took to social media minutes ago, to both congratulate Manny Pacquiao on his big stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse and to call him out for a rematch.
“Congratulations Manny Pacquiao. Rematch?” Was Horn’s brief message to the man he sensationally upset last July in his homeland of Australia.
If things turn out the way Horn wants them to, Pacquiao’s latest win could prove to be almost as good news for him as it is for the new holder of the “regular” WBA welterweight title. Badly beaten and beaten up by Terence Crawford in his last fight, the second defence of the belt he took from Pac Man a year ago, Horn was made to look like a fighter who would in all probability never win another world title. Horn may not manage to become a two-time champion but he may now get the opportunity.
If Pacquiao craves a shot at revenge over Horn – who held on and somehow saw out a torrid ninth-round and was later awarded a points decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane – the return could go ahead. A reasonably big fight, especially for Pacquiao’s fans if it took place in The Philippines (it sure has zero chance of taking place in Australia again), Pacquiao-Horn II would not be the worst idea in the boxing world.
We do not want to see Manny go in there with either Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko, two young guns who have been mentioned as possible foes for Pac Man, maybe this year, but a Horn rematch would suit the 39 year old. The revenge factor would be there and Horn is still a legitimate top-10 contender. Losing to Crawford is no disgrace, after all.
If they do rumble again, Pacquiao and Horn would likely give us another exciting fight, but this time Pacquiao would surely start faster than he did in fight-one. Horn was able (or he was allowed) to pile up points and he then saw it through to the bell and to the win. Could Horn possibly repeat the feat and beat Pacquiao a second time, or would the mean and motivated version of Pac Man we saw last night show up?
An Amir Khan fight aside, a return meeting with Horn makes the most sense for those fans who have no wish to see Pacquiao get badly hurt and/or embarrassed – which is what will almost certainly happen if the former multi-weight champion who has been a pro for almost quarter of a century faces either Lomachenko or Crawford.
In actuality, it would be great to see Pacquiao, a great fighter with absolutely nothing left to prove, walk away and retire right now. But that isn’t going to happen.
Jeff Horn is available and Pacquiao should accommodate him if he insists on fighting on.