A high-profile rematch appears imminent for Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao.
After breaking the bank to secure their first meeting, Brisbane is the front-runner to land a potential November rematch for Horn’s recently acquired WBO welterweight championship, which he took from eight-division titleholder Pacquiao in front of more than 50,000 spectators at Suncorp Stadium.
The Queensland Government bankrolled the aptly titled ‘Battle of Brisbane’ in July, which proved to be a box office hit for all parties involved. In an interview with ESPN, Pacquaio’s long-time promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank confirmed that Pacquiao wants a second shot at the Australian.
“Manny doesn’t want to retire. He wants the rematch, so we are going to do the rematch,” said Arum.
“Manny told me he wants to do the rematch, but now we are looking for the window that satisfies the Senate. We need to see when they have a recess that will allow Manny the time he needs to train and have the fight.”
The only apparent stumbling block that could curtail the proposed second meeting is the political obligations of Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), who holds a seat in the Senate in his native Philippines. Further to this, Arum is also sceptical of holding another outdoor event in Brisbane, given the humidity that is likely to accompany a sunny afternoon in Brisbane.
While the promoter admits that there is an obligation to offer the fight to the home state of Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs), an outdoor venue is highly unlikely.
“Once I have an answer from the Senate when they have their recess, I will go to my partner in Australia, Duco, and we will figure out where we’re going to do the fight,” he added. “Queensland has certain rights from hosting the first fight, but we need to figure out where the fight will be.”
“The problem is we can’t have it outdoors again because of the weather. November is the summer there, and it’s brutal to do it outdoors. We can’t do it. Even in July, which is their winter, it was pretty hot outdoors.”
“I think the first fight was an excellent fight. It was competitive and Horn feels emboldened, and I think it will be a very good fight again,” Arum concluded. “And now Horn is known much more in the United States after that fight.”
Horn, 29, has gained notoriety across the globe for his typically colloquial performance against Pacquiao, 38, in a fight that few expected him to win. A potential rematch is said to earn Horn – who would be returning as the champion – a speculated $2 million, a mighty increase from the alleged $250,000 he earned from their first meeting.
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