MANNY PACQUIAO looks set to defend his WBO welterweight title against Australian Jeff Horn on July 2, his advisor Michael Koncz has confirmed.
When talks fell through for a blockbuster clash between Pacquiao and Amir Khan, the proposition of travelling to Australia to fight unbeaten Horn was put back on the table.
“We are finalising the terms,” Koncz told Philippines news website Rappler via text message when asked about the Horn fight.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, had given the Filipino icon a deadline – which expired yesterday – to sign for the Horn fight, which is mooted to take place in Brisbane, with the Australian state of Queensland putting up some of the finances.
When news broke of a potential Pacquiao-Khan fight – and both men claiming terms had been agreed – Arum poured cold water on the idea, claiming that ideas of the fight taking place in the United Arab Emirates were fanciful.
Now, it looks as though Pacquiao will begin his ‘world tour’ Down Under against former Olympian Horn who, although undefeated, is still a relative prospect in the 147lb division.
If Pacquiao missed Arum’s deadline, his hopes of fighting in July would have been dashed and we would instead have to wait until November to see him box again. However it now seems as though the Horn fight will go ahead, as the Australian agreed to the fight months ago when it was first explored.
Pacquiao ended his short-lived retirement last November when he thrashed Jessie Vargas for the WBO title, and had previously stated that his next fight would take place on April 23 in the UAE.