WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn was oh-so-close to fighting in a rematch with Manny Pacquiao, but now that Pacquiao withdrew from the fight several weeks ago, Horn now turns to Gary Corcoran for his first title defense.
According to promoter Frank Warren, Horn and Corcoran have agreed to terms to fight in November for Horn's WBO title in Australia, Horn's native country and where he scored the biggest win of his career, and perhaps boxing's upset of the year, when he beat Manny Pacquiao on ESPN.
"It's all agreed, we're just waiting for the official confirmation. Terms are agreed and it's all ready to go," Warren told Boxingscene.com.
Corcoran is 17-1 as a pro boxer and is ranked No. 10 in the WBO's official rankings. Corcoran also won the WBO Intercontinental title in his last fight when he defeated Larry Ekundayo via split decision back in July. His lone loss came against Liam Williams in a BBBofC British super welterweight title fight last year.
After Horn defeated Pacquiao in a highly controversial fight that many initially saw Pacquiao win the fight, but the three judges scored the fight in favor of Horn, both boxers were adamant about their intent in having a rematch. The two kept saying that for weeks and Top Rank's Bob Arum, who pushed heavily for the first Pacquiao-Arum fight to happen, was trying to secure the fight from behind the scenes.
Pacquiao announced that he wouldn't be fighting Horn as he had to fulfill his duties as a senator in the Philippines, preventing him from dedicating any time to prepare for any kind of fight. In the immediate aftermath, several names were mentioned as potential candidates to be Horn's opponent, including Jessie Vargas, Bradley Skeete and Terence Crawford, but Corcoran started to become the likeliest candidate in the past couple of weeks.
Top Rank, who promotes Horn, wanted the Horn-Pacquiao rematch to be broadcasted on ESPN, like the first fight, which did record viewership numbers. But with November 11 already being reserved for another Top Rank boxing on ESPN card, headlined by Jessie Magdaleno vs. Cesar Juarez for the WBO junior featherweight title, the television future of Horn vs. Corcoran is in doubt.