Although Manny Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Jeff Horn in July, in a fight where he appeared to have won easily, the speed and the power that made the 38-year-old a global icon late in the previous decade was undeniably reduced. Now, it appears Pacquiao is having second thoughts about a rematch. Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, was none too pleased.
“To say he’s having second thoughts is pissing me off,” Lonergan told the Daily Telegraph. “If he carries on again, it would be my advice to move on and forget about him. We’ve already booked the venue (Suncorp Stadium).”
Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum, who was in Las Vegas this past weekend, says Pacquiao still wants the rematch, but may want to postpone the fight until 2018. “A lot of it is about Manny’s senatorial duties, and he’s not a youngster anymore,” Arum candidly stated. “That was a very physical fight, and he may feel like he needs more time to get ready.”
Regardless, Horn will fight in November. “Whatever happens, we’ll do a title defense for Jeff in November against a top welterweight in Brisbane,” Arum added. “Jeff is a young guy, and we have an obligation to him to have him earn money and keep him active. If it’s not Manny, you just adjust prices, and maybe do it at a smaller venue.” Lonergan also claims that Pacquiao missed a deadline Saturday to recommit to the rematch. “When Bob Arum saw media reports out of the Philippines that representatives of Manny Pacquiao were trying to get the fight in Manila, Arum gave Manny Pacquiao until Saturday, August 26, to confirm that he would recommit to fighting in Brisbane. Pacquiao has yet to re-confirm, and as such now has put the Horn rematch in jeopardy.”
Although the referee missed a knockdown and missed a shedload of fouls throughout the 12-round fight, Pacquiao was simply not at his best. He had a perfect opportunity to knockout Horn, who was badly hurt in the ninth, and couldn’t finish the job. That’s a sign of an older fighter who can’t pull the trigger like he once could.
Pacquiao hasn’t had a knockout since 2009 and is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He is already a world champion in eight different weight classes; the only boxer to do so in history, and has nothing more to add to his legacy. The only thing that he can do now by continuing to fight is get injured.
He could surely pull a Muhammad Ali and revenge his loss to Horn in a rematch, but who cares? What if a victory convinces him to fight again and get knocked out cold by Terence Crawford? No one wants to see that. It’s time for Manny Pacquiao to retire – for good.