As we approached the July 2 welterweight title defence WBO ruler Manny Pacquiao was set to make against unbeaten but largely unknown (outside of Australia) Jeff Horn, most of us were in truth not all that excited about the fight.
Pac Man was widely expected to have too much of just about everything apart from youth over his unbeaten, underdog of a challenger, and Manny’s “world tour” was expected to have a nice, explosive start; with Pac Man likely scoring his first KO victory since way back in 2009. Instead, we witnessed The Upset of The Year (so far) and we were also treated to a far more eventful and exciting fight than anyone could have predicted.
The big talking point after the 12 round UD Horn shocked Pacquiao with, however, was the controversial nature of the scoring that allowed Horn to get the win. Many fans and experts had the fight close in Pacquiao’s favour, while some boxing people had Pacquiao winning big – Teddy Atlas ferociously calling the decision a robbery, even telling Horn, live on air, that he didn’t deserve the win that had just changed his entire life.
Now, with Pacquiao deciding – and recently announcing via social media – that he will carry on fighting, the big talking point is who wins the rematch and where should it take place. Set to be a far bigger deal than the first fight, the return that could be dubbed Repeat or Revenge, could be one of the hottest dates on the boxing calendar; either this year or early next.
In fairness, seeing as how he travelled to Horn’s homeland for fight-one, Pacquiao, 59-7-2(38) should fight fight-two wherever he wants it. Pac Man hasn’t boxed in his homeland for many years – 2006, against Oscar Larios – and it would perhaps be a great gift to Manny’s people, his passionate fans, to arrange to have the rematch in The Philippines. It would be a huge occasion for the Filipinos, and a massive boost to them if their hero managed to get revenge.
Horn, in speaking with Brian Cambell for In This Corner, said he would like the return to take place in Australia. This is a natural desire of course, but Horn did say that he has no control over the possible venue. Horn, 17-0-1(11) is sure of one thing though: a rematch would bring more excitement.
“Most likely we will be back in Australia [for the return fight] but I have no control over that myself,” Horn said. “It’s really up to Manny in the moment whether he wants to fight or not and it really will be decided about the venue after that. I think it would definitely be another awesome fight. I think I will definitely step up again but then again Pacquiao might come up and fight even harder again.”
Pacquiao recently stated how it is his intention to bring the heat he brought in the 9th round of the July 2 fight, a torrid session Horn barely got through, in the opening round of a return meeting. Can Pacquiao get revenge, and if he does so, will it take place in Australia, The Philippines or Pac Man’s second home of Las Vegas? If it’s the latter, the rematch would be a great fight for this November or December.