If a rematch with Australian banger Jeff Horn happens late this year, Manny Pacquiao is assuring everyone of one thing.
“I will remind him of the ninth round in the first round,” said Pacquiao as talks about a second meeting between the two rivals continue to swirl.
It was in the ninth round of their 12-rounder that ended with Horn earning a unanimous decision when Pacquiao almost had him out on his feet.
Horn was so visibly shaken and beleaguered that referee Mark Nelson even had to tell him during the break entering the tenth round that he is close to stopping the fight.
In that round, Pacquiao battered Horn from pillar to post, sending the 29-year-old former schoolteacher reeling like a skid row drunk.
Luckily for Horn, he managed to clear his head and fought gamely in the tenth where Pacquiao was supposed to be dominant.
Melbourne and Sydney are said to be hell-bent in hosting the fight although Brisbane, site of their July 2 slugfest, is determined to land the fight with the 14,500-capacity Brisbane Entertainment Centre as venue.
Staging it at the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium is risky owing to the unpredictable weather conditions in Queensland during that time of year as it doesn’t have a retractable roof.
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, which can accommodate over 100,000, is being looked at as a site while Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, almost the same size as Suncorp Stadium, is also in the running alongside Brisbane.
Pacquiao hasn’t formally made an announcement whether he is exercising the rematch clause but signs point to that direction.
Horn, who is currently in the US, has voiced out his desire to face Pacquiao again so he can settle the issue once and for all.
But Glenn Rushton, Horn’s longtime trainer, has some bit of fatherly advice to the 38-year-old Filipino legend.
“We’d love the rematch, of course, because we want the big fights but if I was Manny’s corner, I would tell him to chase easier fights than Jeff,” Rushton told the Courier Mail.
“If he wants to make a big payday, Manny should go after Britain’s former world champ Amir Khan. Amir would be a safer bet than getting chewed up by Jeff Horn,” said the self-made millionaire.
“Jeff will only get stronger and better from that victory…Manny has reached his peak and he can’t get any better. Jeff can,” added Rushton.