Pacquiao out of Horn rematch, Vargas ‘on radar’ to replace and Matthysse possible for Nov 12

Mikey Williams

Manny Pacquiao will not be heading to Brisbane for a second time this year as the Filipino has dropped out of a rematch with Jeff Horn.

The 38 year-old was handed an immediate revenge mission following a controversial points loss earlier this year, although has now delayed any second fight until 2018.

Doubts have now crept in as to whether Pacquiao will go through with the Horn clash at all and retirement could be on the agenda for the the eight-weight world title holder.

Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton commented on the situation and sees Top Rank’s Jessie Vargas, a former opponent of Pacquiao, as a possible replacement.

“We have had offers to fight in the Philippines but there are concerns over whether we would get paid and we have an agreement to fight here,’’ Rushton told Fox Sports in Australia.

“If it does not happen we will move on. Manny has plenty of advisers. One minute it is on the next it is off. We had locked it in for Suncorp on November 12.

“Because Jeff is world champion he has plenty of offers. But we want big fights. We are not interested in taking easy fights. That is not what we are about.

“Jesse Vargus is a fight which could interest us if he was available. He is a former world champion who has fought Pacquiao. He has never been stopped. He lost narrowly to Tim Bradley.

“He is certainly on our radar.‘’

The November date in question looks solid for Horn as things stand and it’s just a case of finding the right opponent for what will be the Aussie’s first defense of the WBO belt he ripped away from Pacquiao.

Argentine puncher Lucas Matthysse, currently ranked number two behind Pacquiao in the WBO ratings, is also a contender to be in the opposite corner in three months’ time.