Australian promoters of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title in November have announced the cancellation of the fight due to government duties.
Horn upset Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, 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. Pacquiao is committed to fighting again in 2018 and a rematch with Jeff Horn for the WBO world welterweight title,” said Dean Lonergan, who is Horn’s promoter.
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 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.