Now that the World Boxing Organization (WBO) has ruled that Jeff Horn won his world welterweight title bout against Manny Pacquiao two weekends ago, a rematch will likely materialize before the end of the year.
The Pacquiao camp and most of his avid fans believe the Filipino won because he landed more punches compare to the Australian, or 182 vs 92. But the WBO rejudging of the fight saw three of the five judges giving their nod to Horn, while one favored Pacquiao. The fifth judge saw the fight a draw.
So what could we possibly (or probably) expect if Pacquiao and Horn square off for the second time?
Now that Horn is the WBO welterweight champion, expect him to have more confidence in the ring against Pacquiao in a rematch, which will be bad news for the Filipino’s camp.
Also, Horn’s camp will most likely not make their fighter enter the last week of training way above the 147-pound limit for welterweight. Truth is, it still boggles me as to how Horn was able to survive 12 rounds with the Filipino because he had to shed off as much as eight pounds prior to the weigh in. I mean, shedding off that much weight prior to the weigh in could have killed other fighters, or made them feel drained during the actual fight, especially in the latter rounds.
It also escapes my imagination as to how Horn, despite having to shed off that much weight, was able to take Pacquiao’s best shots in the ninth round and end the round still standing up. If there is one thing that is hard to gauge in boxing, it is the ability of a fighter to take punishment and Horn proved a tough nut to crack.
So should Pacquiao take a sledgehammer into the ring in a rematch against Horn?
Although Pacquiao still punches hard, as to how his camp will amp up his punching power to deal with a tough nut to crack in Horn will be very interesting to watch. Can it be done? Good question.
But Horn getting away with his roughhousing on Pacquiao, which helped him unsettle the Filipino’s rhythm in the ring, will surely be checked because for sure, a referee like Mark Nelson will no longer be tapped. That is bad news for Horn.
Also, Pacquiao’s camp will also prepare for Horn’s possible roughhousing in a rematch.
While I am pointing out Horn’s roughhousing as not acceptable in the ring, I am not saying the Australian lacks talent and guts; just look at the number of clean punches he landed on Pacquiao and how he managed to last 12 rounds.
Perhaps Pacquiao fell into the trap that has unmade many boxing champions who are no longer in their prime—underestimating their opponents. I mean, just hear the chorus prior to the fight that Pacquiao would be too much for Horn. I am actually guilty of joining that chorus.
So much noise was also made about Pacquiao facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. anew after his defeats Horn, but that is no longer possible given the Filipino’s recent defeat to the Australian.
A stronger Horn who does not need to deal with weight issues fighting Pacquiao anew actually scares me; add to that the confidence Horn has gained from beating the Filipino.
But I am not writing off Pacquiao, because the loss to Horn might motivate him more to train harder, hit harder, mix it up more fiercely and even do some roughhousing on the Australian.
A Pacquiao-Horn rematch can be a real marquee match-up!