By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Now that Jeff Horn has lost the WBO welterweight title to Terence Crawford, he hopes the man he won it from will want a rematch.
Glenn Rushton, Horn’s trainer/manager, said they’re “very open” to fighting Manny Pacquiao again, particularly if Pacquiao can beat Lucas Matthysse next month. The Philippines’ Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) will challenge Argentina’s Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs, 1 NC) for the WBA world welterweight title July 14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Who knows?,” Rushton said. “That’s up to Manny Pacquiao. He’s gotta get past Matthysse first, of course, in July. We’re very open to that fight. We would certainly do that fight any day of the week. There would be no issues whatsoever with that.”
Horn wanted an immediate rematch with Pacquiao once the rugged Australian upset the Filipino legend 11 months ago in Brisbane, Horn’s hometown. The 30-year-old Horn won a unanimous decision over Pacquiao, but his controversial victory was widely criticized.
Pacquiao’s packed schedule as a senator in the Philippines made it difficult to arrange their rematch for late in 2017. The 39-year-old southpaw also is reluctant to return to Australia for another fight with Horn, but their first fight drew a crowd in excess of 51,000 to Suncorp Stadium and was a financial success.
Rushton said during a conference call last week that he believes Pacquiao hasn’t embraced a rematch because Horn would knock him out if they fought again (https://www.boxingscene.com/trainer-horn-most-likely-ve-stopped-pacquiao-rematch--128921).
Pacquiao nearly knocked out Horn in the ninth round of their July 2 bout, but Horn recovered and finished their competitive clash strong. Their physical fight also left Pacquiao with two cuts on his face, both from what were ruled accidental clashes of heads in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Dean Lonergan, Horn’s promoter, and Rushton both expressed their desire to bring a Crawford-Horn rematch to Australia after Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) dominated Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) and stopped him in the ninth round Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Crawford’s win was entirely one-sided, though, thus a Pacquiao rematch seems more realistic.
“Pacquiao was a very big splash last year in Brisbane,” Lonergan said, “but you would like to think that if Pacquiao was to beat Matthysse, it would be a very realistic thing to try and put together. Maybe we could put some serious money on the table for him, because that’s what it takes to get Manny. If he was to lose to Matthysse, you would have to say, well, you would have to say not really because it hasn’t got quite the shine without a world title on it.
“One of the things we have to do is make sure when we have the wonderful support we get from Queensland state government and the Brisbane City Council, that we give them a good return on their investment, as you well know.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.