Pacquiao vs Horn 2: Rematch offers opportunity and obstaclesWritten by Lee Cleveland
Unknown Jeff Horn shocked the sports world Saturday by upsetting heavily favored fight legend Manny Pacquiao.
The 'Hornet' won via a debatable unanimous decision by the scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 117-111.
The fight itself wasn't a classic and was a bit messy at times. Nevertheless, it certainly wasn't devoid of action and drama.
Pacquiao vs Horn 2
It is apparently written in the contract that Horn would have to give Manny an immediate rematch in the event he orchestrated the upset.
And yes, Manny is interested.
However, there is a stipulation in the rematch clause.
“We do have a legal and also a moral obligation to consider Brisbane first, right, Dean, for a rematch?” Arum said, asking Dean Lonergan, Horn’s other co-promoter (Duco Events).
Apparently, it was agreed Brisbane would be the location for a rematch unless somewhere else made a lot more sense.
Will and rematch take place and, if so, where?
In the end, money will answer both questions. And revenue, of course, is entirely dependent on the public's interest.
- Pacquiao vs Horn wasn't a sizzler - Will casual fans have an interest this time? After all, Manny, whether hampered by his senatorial obligations or for other reasons, appeared far from top form. And Horn, with his roughhouse tactics and clinching, wasn't exactly a ball of fire himself.
- Controversy - The controversial nature of the first fight might turn off some fans to a rematch. Pacquiao's rematch with Tim Bradley failed to generate as much interest as their controversial first bout and, most recently, interest in the rematch between light heavyweight titans Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward fell short of expectations and failed to reach the level of excitement created for their first bout which rendered a debatable result.
- Purses - Given Horn won and is now a world champion, he's not going to settle for another $500,000 purse. Thus, Manny might be forced to fight for $7 or 8 Million instead of the purported $10 Million he received this weekend. And even that amount is fraction of the prize money he's grown accustomed to the last 7 or 8 years.
At what point does Manny say, "Forget it! I'm done"
- Horn is star in Australia, now - Will Horn's newfound star power generate heightened Aussie interest in a rematch? He's a big deal now and Australians might consider him 'must see TV' heading into a return bout.
- Revenge factor - Storylines sell and Manny certainly has the revenge factor in his favor. Moreover, Horn's backers will want to convince the sports world their man is no fluke and deserved the nod last night.Also, fans who missed the first fight because they assumed Pacquiao would steamroll and supposed overmatched opponent might look toward a rematch with elevated enthusiasm.
- ESPN ratings - Per recent reports, view ratings were impressive so the network is likely to purchase the rematch. In addition, ESPN would have months to promote rematch, not just 10 days as was the case for this fight.
- Coverage in the U.S. / Controversy - Manny's previous bouts with Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas failed to break into mainstream news in the U.S. However, last night’s fight was headline sports news in the States. This weekend’s coverage is important because a) it got Manny in the news again and b) because the first Horn fight ended in controversy, a lot of casual might succumb to the lure of a rematch.
Controversy can repel or sell.
- Purses - Should 1-4 come to fruition, revenue for a return bout would increase, making it a no-brainer for all involved.
Will there be a rematch? And should it happen, would a rematch be a box office smash?
It all depends on how the public received yesterday's bout?
Look for a rematch to happen, although it might not be in Brisbane. Also, expect Pacquiao vs Horn 2 to generate a little more buzz in the U.S, UK, and Australia than the first fight.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.