JEFF Horn’s upset win over legendary eight division titleholder Manny Pacquiao will forever be apart of Australian sporting folklore.
Horn, 29, overcame great odds and captured the hearts of the viewing audience by surviving a hellacious ninth round from the Future Hall of Famer Pacquiao, before being declared the winner by unanimous decision to lift the WBO welterweight title.
Most pundits believe that the 38-year-old Pacquiao underestimated the task at hand in Horn, who started fast and built an early lead on the judges cards over the first half of the fight at Suncorp Stadium.
While the Filipino did damage to the Brisbane-resident on multiple occasions and recorded a higher punch output according to leading boxing statistic outlet Compubox, it ultimately wasn’t enough.
Given that Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) does have a contractual rematch clause to face Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) again, a second meeting appears likely. However, there are rumblings that Pacquiao may instead retire to focus on his political obligations in the Phillipines.
No location has been confirmed for a potential rematch, but there are several hosts that may be considered. Due to the enormity of the initial event and the overwhelming support that it achieved, Brisbane is a strong candidate to host a second showing.
However, Melbourne is said to have voiced interest in staging the fight. US promoter Top Rank has also discussed a possible Las Vegas venue to appease any potential pushback from Pacquiao’s team.
What the experts say (Ben Damon):
“It’s hard to imagine a bigger event than Jeff Horn’s incredible defeat of the great Manny Pacquiao but here it is. The rematch is a chance for Horn to cement his place in world boxing and solidify his legend in Australian sport.”
“But even more than that it is an opportunity for boxing to strengthen it’s grip on the national psyche. The bout may take place at a smaller venue this time around but the pay-per-view audience will likely double, and if Horn beats Pacquiao again Australian boxing is a massive winner.”
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