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Pacquiao vs Horn rematch could take place in 2018 – Arum

Jeff Horn, left, of Australia and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines fight during their WBO World welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. | AP Photo/Tertius Pickard

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s rematch with Jeff Horn can happen next year instead, according to Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum.

Speaking recently to ESPN Deportes, Arum said Pacquiao’s busy schedule in the Philippine senate will leave him with insufficient time to get in good shape for the rematch planned this November.

Instead, Horn, who stunned Pacquiao last month to take away the WBO welterweight strap, could end up with a different dance partner.

"Manny is deciding if he wants a rematch this year or next year. If he decides to postpone it, we will make a fight for Jeff in November against a good opponent in Brisbane," the veteran promoter said.

Arum will reportedly fly to Manila soon to clear things up with Pacquiao, who, despite being keen on fighting Horn again, hasn’t committed to the bout yet.

"I imagine he has many duties as a senator, he is no longer a young guy and the last fight was very physical, and he may need more time to get ready for a rematch. We'll know in the next few days," added the Top Rank boss.

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Finalizing Pacquiao-Horn 2 depends largely on Pacquiao, as the Australian’s camp has reportedly already made arrangements to make the fight happen again at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

But Pacquiao, speaking Tuesday at the launch of a home-and-away basketball league that he’s backing, said “nothing is definite yet” with regards to sealing the bout.

There are plans to stage the fight in Manila instead, which Arum said is impossible as they are contractually obliged to do the rematch only in Australia.

The Filipino icon’s indecisiveness has been a cause of concern for Horn’s camp, with the Australian’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, saying Pacquiao “has put the rematch in jeopardy.”

Horn, for his part, is sure to return to the ring in November — be it against Pacquiao or someone else.

"Horn would fight one of the best welterweights and try to do the same kind of business, maybe not the same as he would have done with Pacquiao and we'll have to adjust prices, look for a smaller place, but if Manny cannot fight until the next year – we have a young champion and we have an obligation to keep him active," said Arum.

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