THE World Boxing Organization had spoken and affirmed Australian Jeff Horn’s victory over Filipino icon Many Pacquiao in Brisbane and it appears that only a rematch could settle whatever doubts left.
The probability of having a rematch has become more imminent, thanks to the successful turnout and stirring post-fight drama surrounding their first bout won by Horn via unanimous decision, albeit controversial, to pocket the WBO welterweight title.
Brisbane will now have rivals as the site of the Horn-Pacquiao II with Sidney and Melbourne expressing interest to stage the event.
In a report by Australia-based Courier Mail, Melbourne was said to be offering Etihad Stadum, which can accommodate 56,000 fans under a retractable roof.
The rematch could probably take place in November and Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, said that the only thing needed is Pacquiao’s OK to get it going.
“He has a rematch clause in his contract but we still don’t know if he will take it,’’ Lonergan was quoted by Courier Mail reporter Grantlee Kieza.
While Queensland has the right of first refusal, there are apprehensions if the open-air Suncorp Stadium could handle the extremely hot weather of Horn’s hometown in November.
Sidney is also reportedly interested in staging the rematch at the 83,000-seat ANZ Stadium.
Brisbane got tremendous exposure during the Pacquiao-Horn bout which was telecast to hundreds of million viewers in 159 countries.
Horn won the Battle in Brisbane via unanimous decision. The statistics from Punchstats went in favor of the Filipino boxing senator, and the pro-Pacquiao post-fight analysis by fight commentator Teddy Atlas stirred a howl of protest against the judges’ decision.
The Games and Amusement Board of the Philippines reacted by requesting the WBO for a review of the bout. In a swift response, the WBO ordered a re-scoring using a five-judge panel which in turn, affirmed Horn’s victory.
It didn’t sit well with Pacquiao, who said he was not surprised with the verdict and that’s he’s leaving it to the people what to believe.
“Let the people judge for themselves. People saw what happened. We have seen worse judgments in the past where judges manipulated results,” said Pacquiao in a statement.
Pacquiao is now resting at his home in General Santos City and has reportedly not yet made contact with the public or even with his promoter Bob Arum and coach Freddie Roach.