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Pacquiao pulls out of title rematch with Aussie Horn

BRISBANE—Filipino great Manny Pacquiao on Friday pulled out of a rematch with world champion Jeff Horn, leaving the Australian looking for another challenger in his title defence.

The Queensland state government, the fight’s financial backers, made the announcement two months ahead of the scheduled Nov. 12 bout.

“We have been advised today that Manny Pacquiao... cannot return to the ring on 12 November as proposed,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.

“I am advised Mr Pacquiao, who is also a Senator of the Philippines, will have other commitments at that time.”

This file photo shows Manny Pacquiao (right) of the Philippines fighting Jeff Horn (left) of Australia during their World Boxing Organization bout in Brisbane. Australia’s world champion Jeff Horn will be looking for another challenger to defend his title after Manny Pacquiao pulled out of his planned rematch, the Queensland government said on Sept 1. AFP

She said her government would continue to support Horn’s WBO world welterweight title defene, whoever the challenger is.

The unheralded Australian 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 Organization moved to quell the controversy by re-scoring the fight with a different set of judges—who found that Horn won by seven rounds to five.

It ordered the scoring review at the request of the Philippines’ Games and Amusements Board, which criticized the judges and the referee.

In the twilight of a 22-year pro career in which he won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, Pacquiao had initially called for a rematch despite US trainer Freddie Roach advising him to quit.

Pacquiao has not stopped an opponent in eight years and briefly quit boxing last year to pursue his long-held political ambitions and was elected senator.

But he quickly made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November before losing to Horn.

Topics: Manny Pacquiao , Jeff Horn , boxing rematch
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