Jeff Horn wants Manny Pacquiao rematch to settle row
Win for Australian earlier this month is verified by independent review, but Docklands Stadium in Melbourne is already been suggested for second fight in November
Australian Jeff Horn has no doubt that he was a deserving conqueror of Manny Pacquiao, but believes only a rematch will settle the controversy once and for all.
Horn stunned the boxing world with a unanimous 12-round decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane on July 2, a hotly contested result that triggered an outcry in the Philippines.
The World Boxing Organisation moved to quell the controversy by rescoring the fight with a different set of judges – who found that Horn was the winner by seven rounds to five.
“If it had come back and they’d said I hadn’t won, I would have still felt like I had won,” the 29-year-old former schoolteacher said. “But to have them say to everyone else that had doubted it that I definitely won the fight gives me a sense of relief.
“I feel like I’ve defended the title already and I’ve only had it for a week.
“I kind of feel it has been put to bed and that I definitely won the fight because it has been rescored.
“But people are always going to have their opinions and you’re not going to be able to change those. So I guess the only way you’re going to be able to do it is to have a rematch. And I think I would do better a second time.”
Horn, meanwhile, said he had been stung by the criticism from veteran trainer and boxing broadcaster Teddy Atlas.
In a post-fight interview shortly after Horn clambered out of the ring in Brisbane, Atlas told the Australian he believed he had been wrongly awarded the fight.
“I was shocked at Teddy Atlas when he said straightaway after I won that he didn’t think I’d won,” Horn said. “I was like, ‘Thanks. Biggest fight of my life and you reckon I lost.’
“That was a bit heartbreaking, especially because I felt like I won. Inside my heart I felt I won, but when you hear people like Teddy say it to my face was a little bit heartbreaking. I lost a little bit of respect for Teddy after that.”
Pacquiao, who has an option for a rematch, has indicated he plans to continue his boxing career but has not said yet signalled his intentions to veteran promoter Bob Arum.
“I went in after the fight when he was being stitched up and I told him don’t make any decisions for a couple of weeks,” Arum said. “I would think he would probably not want to retire on a defeat.”
The legendary promoter said any rematch in Australia would likely be held in November, with the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne the likeliest venue.
A return to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the venue of the first fight, was unlikely because of the possibility of rain.
“If it was Brisbane you couldn’t do it in Suncorp because of the risk of rain,” Arum said. “You’d have to do it in a 14,000-seat arena.
“But in Melbourne, you have a place that’s bigger than Suncorp, which has a retractable roof so we don’t have to worry about intense heat or rain.”