Manny Pacquiao has pulled out of his proposed November rematch with Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title because of government duties.
Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, is unavailable for the proposed Nov. 12 bout due to the conflict, the Australian promoters of the fight announced Friday. Horn upset Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title in a unanimous 12-round decision in Brisbane, Australia, on July 2.
“On behalf of the Philippines government, he (Pacquiao) will be part of a delegation that will visit China in the middle of his proposed preparation period for the fight,” said Dean Lonergan, who is Horn’s promoter. “Pacquiao is committed to fighting again in 2018 and a rematch with Jeff Horn for the WBO world welterweight title.”
The proposed rematch in Brisbane had been confirmed by both camps on Aug. 21. The fight was expected to be held at the same outdoor stadium in Brisbane where a hometown crowd of 51,000 saw Horn, a former schoolteacher, stun Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight belt.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao said after the fight that he wanted a rematch. He disagreed with the judges’ decision and asked the World Boxing Organization for a review, but the WBO later endorsed the 29-year-old Horn as the winner.
Jesse Vargas, an American contender and former world title holder, could possibly take Pacquiao’s place for a fight later this year against Horn, the promoters said. Pacquiao beat Vargas in a unanimous decision last November in Las Vegas.