Exclusive: Second Pacquiao victory brings Horn vindication – trainer
Jeff Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton is hoping his fighter can once again nail down home advantage for what would be a massive return with Manny Pacquiao in 2017.
Horn overcame the odds to defeat the Filipino legend via a points decision at the Suncorp Stadium in front of over 50,000 fans, although any rematch is expected to take place in a much smaller venue.
Dates in November would make an outdoor venue unworkable, whilst Rushton, who oversaw his first win, doesn’t want Horn to travel to Pacquiao’s backyard to make the first defence of his welterweight championship.
“I would prefer to do it in Brisbane,” Rushton exclusively told World Boxing News.
“The Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government have been exceptionally supportive for the first fight, and they deserve the right to host the rematch.”
Asked whether he’d be changing tactics for the second outing after Horn was almost stopped in the ninth, Rushton said it would depend on how Pacquiao attacked his revenge bid on the night.
“I approach every fight as a unique event,” he explained.
“It’s a game of chess, and I play to win. I will review everything again, and decide on what needs adjusting.
“I advised Manny’s team last time (on several occasions) to bring their A Game and to have no excuses if they lost, however, we still expected the excuses.
“It’s business, and they’re trying to salvage the brand. It’s probably not Manny – but he has many people in his ear giving him advice. I understand where they’re coming from, although it’s still disappointing.
“I used to love watching Holyfield. He lost the title, got back in line (without complaining), and won it back – 4 times. What a man!”
Rushton would then go on to praise Pacquiao, not only as a fighter but as a role model despite his obviously declining boxing skills.
“I still think Pacquiao is brilliant. A great man, a brilliant boxer.
“People just don’t yet appreciate how good Jeff is. Rather than praise Jeff, they run down Pacquiao. If he would have KO’d Jeff, everyone would have said he’s as good as ever, as they did when he beat Bradley and Vargas.
“Of course, there is one opponent who is unbeatable – Father Time. In the end, he beats everyone.
“I looked across at Manny in the last couple of rounds, and I saw a true warrior, who didn’t really want to be there – but his heart kept him going. Maybe the fire is gone – only Manny knows that.”
Another win for Horn over the ‘Pacman’ would certainly prove his doubters wrong, according to Rushton.
“Whether Pacquiao’s desire is gone who knows, but he was beaten on the day by a great boxer, that will eventually be vindicated, as rest assured we want the big fights.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay