Can Pacquiao wangle a rematch now?
There are bigger stories in Philippine boxing, like Brian Viloria’s stunning 5th round KO conquest of a highly rated foe in California on Sunday. Milan Melindo is set to defend his IBF junior flyweight crown in Cebu this weekend. Nonito Donaire Jr. has set a big comeback bout.
But what continues to intrigue the street fans is Manny Pacquiao’s rematch with unbeaten Jeff Horn of Australia, who took away Pacquiao’s WBO world welterweight crown in July.
The road to the rematch has suddenly turned rocky.
The bout had been originally set in Brisbane for Nov. 12, as agreed upon by both parties. Unfortunately, the rematch has ended up being ditched.
Looking back, Pacquiao announced in a snap that he was pulling out of the agreed rematch in Brisbane. Before that, Pacquiao had said he would be terribly tied up with his duties in the Senate. Next he explained he would be joining a trade delegation to China. Then, in a puzzling twist, Pacquiao said he was not withdrawing, but instead wanted to stage the rematch in the Philippines, possibly in December.
As a result, Pacquiao ended up being knocked out of the big fight after Australian promoters decided to get a new championship opponent for Horn.
It could not be determined if Pacquiao had been stricken dumb. The decision from Australia to junk him as Horn’s next opponent was received with complete silence.
Regarding Pacquiao’s planned big card here at home, there was supposed to be great financial backing from the tourism department, friends and supporters of The Pacman, and President Duterte himself.
Why did Pacquiao get left out in the cold?
Bob Arum explained they could not wait indefinitely [for Pacquiao]. The veteran promoter said he has a duty to provide Horn his right to earn his worth as a world champion.
Wasn’t Pacquiao put in his proper place over his absurd dilly-dallying?
Of course, all is not lost. There’s word from Australia that Horn-Pacquiao Part 2 could yet be staged in Brisbane next year.
Or Horn could just proceed with his reign, with or without Pacquiao. There are more than a couple of prospective challengers, led by former WBO welter champion Jessie Vargas, who wanted to take on the unbeaten Australian world champ.
Here at home, there are speculations Pacquiao could yet stage his planned big fight next year.
Out in the city wet market sports hub, they continued to ask whether Pacquiao honestly wanted to take on Horn again.
“Palaban ba o pa-ayaw (Is he fighting or running away)?” several vendors were asking.
Will Pacquiao still go for a rematch?
Can Pacquiao still wangle a rematch?
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