Manny Pacquiao will fight on, considering Jeff Horn rematch
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao says retirement isn’t in his immediate plans.
The 38-year-old boxing legend-turned-Philippine senator says he discussed his options with his family following his unanimous decision loss to Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, and has decided to stay in the game.
“Not yet,” Pacquiao said in a phone conversation, when asked if he’d be retiring after 22 years as a professional boxer. “… [My family] just talked to me and we discussed. It’s fine for them.”
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different divisions, acknowledged he has “nothing to prove” in the sport but says that he still has the passion to continue fighting.
“I love this sport and until the passion is gone, I will continue to fight for God, my family, my fans and my country,” he said earlier on Wednesday in a Facebook post.
Pacquiao’s contract with Horn included a rematch clause. Pacquiao says he’s considering that option.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said enthusiastically, before tempering his response by adding. “I’m thinking about it.” Still, he readily offered a vision for what adjustments he’d make in a second meeting with the 29-year-old Aussie.
“It’ll be different,” he said, “more disciplined, throwing a lot of punches.”
Pacquiao said he was hindered in part by the two headbutts, which caused cuts and were “bothering me,” and the fact he threw single punches instead of combinations.
“That’s what I’m looking for every round. That’s why I didn’t throw a lot of punches. Because of one punch knockout,” he said.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, had told Manila Bulletin that Pacquiao “can make a lot of money” in a second fight against Horn, with November or December being possibilities. Arum also dismissed claims that this was Pacquiao’s last fight under contract with Top Rank, saying the promotional deal runs through mid-2018.
Though Pacquiao has been critical of referee Mark Nelson for allowing Horn to fight roughly, he says he holds no ill feelings toward Horn.
“He’s doing his job, and I’m doing my job. I respect him, he deserves it,” said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao also dismissed concerns that he has been distant from longtime trainer Freddie Roach following the fight. Roach told Sports Illustrated that, “I really don’t know if he’s mad at me. … But I can tell you this: I haven’t been paid yet. So who knows?”
“It’s the same, nothing’s changed. There’s no problem with Freddie,” Pacquiao said. He added that he has yet to be paid by Top Rank and that the promotional firm pays Roach directly.
Arum says he will head to the Philippines in the coming weeks to discuss Pacquiao’s next move.
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.