By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao would like for his rematch against Jeff Horn to take place in the Philippines.
Based on what was said after Australian underdog Jeff Horn upset him, however, it would appear Pacquiao might have to return to Australia for the chance to avenge his defeat. Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter and Horn’s co-promoter, said during the post-fight press conference Sunday that their contracts stipulate that they would have to consider bringing a Horn-Pacquiao rematch to Australia before any other location.
“We do have a legal and also a moral obligation to consider Brisbane first, right, Dean, for a rematch?” Arum said, asking Dean Lonergan, Horn’s other co-promoter (Duco Events).
Pacquiao said repeatedly after suffering a controversial unanimous-decision defeat to Horn in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia, that he’ll exercise the rematch clause in his contract. When asked about traveling to Pacquiao’s homeland, where the legendary boxer also serves as a senator, for their rematch, the newly crowned WBO welterweight champion was noncommittal.
“Yeah, possibly,” Horn said. “Whatever. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t know.”
Horn also acknowledged Sunday that he would prefer for the rematch to take place in Australia. A crowd of 51,052 attended the Horn-Pacquiao fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and a rematch would figure to draw a comparable crowd to the outdoor rugby stadium.
“I don’t know,” Horn said. “I would rather, I guess if we can, get all the fights over here and have them in Australia, and have some big fights and make it alive over here again, boxing. So it’s up to Top Rank and Duco Events to kind of arrange and see what’s worth doing, with obviously the government of Australia behind us.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, wouldn’t have a problem preparing Pacquiao for a return trip to Brisbane.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t come back here,” Roach said. “I mean, the thing is I think we can draw another huge crowd. That’s good for boxing.”
The 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) hasn’t fought in the Philippines since he won a 12-round unanimous decision over Oscar Larios in July 2006 in Quezon City. Each of the 29-year-old Horn’s 18 professional fights (17-0-1, 11 KOs) have taken place either in Australia or New Zealand.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.