Just days ago, news broke that Manny Pacquiao had withdrawn from a slated November 12th rematch against Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane due to his senatorial commitments. However, the Filipino was on the radio waves in the Philippines on Sunday stating that negotiations were ongoing for a rematch, but in the Philippines.
“It will not push through there in Australia, but we are bringing the fight here in the Philippines,” Pacquiao told radio station DZBB via Inquirer. “This will be good for our country’s tourism."
The timing is peculiar and just doesn’t add up. Were Pacquiao’s “senatorial commitments” used as an excuse to drop out of a rematch in Australia in an attempt to get a more favorable matchup in his home country?
Last week, Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan was none too pleased.
“To say he’s having second thoughts is pissing me off. “If he carries on again, it would be my advice to move on and forget about him. 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,” Lonergan said.
Of course, things could have changed between now and then, but it sounds like Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight Horn again in Australia, and who could blame him? Horn defeated Pacquiao in a controversial, but stunning upset in July to claim the WBO welterweight world title, despite landing just 15 percent of his punches, and was nearly stopped in the ninth round. FightNights.com scored it 116-111 for Pacquiao, and most ringside observers thought the former eight-division world champion was ahead.
To be fair, Pacquiao would have probably received the same generous scoring if the bout were in his country and if he were taking the beating.
That leads to the next problem. What if Horn thoroughly outboxes Pacquiao and gets robbed in Manila? We left a voicemail for Horn’s manager, Glenn Rushton, but it went unreturned.