Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) has been out of the ring since suffering an upset unanimous decision loss to Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) back in July. With the victory, Horn captured Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title.
The fight took place before a crowd of 51,000 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
The outcome was viewed as controversial – with many experts disagreeing with the scores and stamping Pacquiao as the true winner of the contest.
There were numerous protests from Pacquiao and his camp, but the WBO conducted and investigation and issued a ruling that backed the scoring.
A rematch was scheduled to take place in November, but Pacquiao withdrew – citing conflicts with his political career as a senator in the Philippines.
Pacquiao made it very clear to his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, that he would never return to Australia for a rematch with Horn.
But there was a huge problem, as Arum explained on numerous occasions, there was a contract agreement which gave Brisbane the first crack to secure the rights to Pacquiao-Horn rematch.
Another problem, no other location was offering as much money as Brisbane to secure the fight.
On Monday, during a press conference with the media, Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan confirmed Brisbane had officially secured the rights to host the Australian’s rematch with Pacquiao.
Lonergan confirmed if Pacquiao finally did agree to a rematch, it could only take place in Brisbane.
“The only problem we do have is our good friend Mr Pacquiao who is never as easy we would like him to be,” Lonergan said.
“We will work with him for the next few months to get that fight down here.”
There is no word if Pacquiao still intends to pursue the Horn rematch. With Brisbane being finalized as the official location, the chances of the rematch coming off is slim.
There is also no indication on whether or not Pacquiao plans to fight again. Pacquiao, who turns 39 before the year is out, could very well retire. (philboxing.com/boxingscene.com)