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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Brisbane mayor confirms Manny Pacquiao rematch with Jeff Horn in Australia

The Filipino lost a controversial points decision to the Australian in their WBO Welterweight title match last month

Jeff Horn of Australia, left, lands a left to Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBO World Welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. AP Photo
Jeff Horn of Australia, left, lands a left to Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBO World Welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. AP Photo

Manny Pacquiao looks set for a rematch with Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane later this year, with the city’s mayor confirming on Monday the fight will take place there.

The Filipino boxer, 38, was surprisingly defeated by Horn last month, when a controversial judges’ decision went against him. Pacquiao had an option to accept another bout with the former schoolteacher, although there were suggestions that he could finally call an end to his boxing career.

However, the rematch seems to be on, with Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk saying he had been given the go-ahead by promoters. Quirk had earlier threatened to pull funding if he did not receive confirmation from the Pacquiao camp that the eight-division champion would fight again.

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Quirk said he met with Dean Lonergan of Duco Events on Monday to make the council's position clear and arranged a telephone call with Bob Arum, chief executive of Top Rank Promotions, who look after Pacquiao's interests.

"This is now confirmed it will happen. I have had a meeting earlier today which has confirmed that Manny Pacquiao will definitely be in Brisbane this year for a rematch with Jeff Horn,' Quirk said in comments published by The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. “It was a matter of Manny Pacquiao deciding whether he wanted to take up that clause in the contract to give a rematch in the event that he lost."

He added: "The details around a renewed contract will have to be worked through but given what I have no been advised today through Duco and Top Rank we are in a position now where Brisbane Marketing will be re-engaged to get involved in the negotiation plan.

"The good news is Manny Pacquiao will definitely be here to fight Jeff Horn this year."

Queensland tourism minister Kate Jones said she was assured by the promoters that "absolutely Pacquiao is in".

"We are absolutely in Jeff Horn's corner and the advice that I have received is Pacquiao is keen to have this fight and we are currently working through and negotiating the details to secure that for Queensland," she said.

Once finalised, the rematch for Horn's WBO Welterweight belt is expected to be held in November at the Suncorp Stadium – the same venue where Horn upset Pacquiao to land the WBO welterweight belt. Horn, 29, went into the fight at the 50,000 capacity stadium as the serious underdog, but took an unanimous 12-round decision.

Many were outraged by the call, including Pacquiao and his corner, but a WBO scoring review later supported the decision.