Pacquiao-Horn moves to UAE
From Australia to United Arab Emirates.
That’s the abrupt detour Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Jeff Horn took Saturday.
Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, announced the startling development at a press conference with officials of Al Afaq Tourism on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
“We did execute an agreement. 100 percent, the fight will happen here (UAE),” Koncz told filipinotimes.ae, adding that Horn remains to be Pacquiao’s likely opponent.
Pacquiao confirmed the report with an Instagram post Sunday that said: See you in UAE for my next fight.
Full details of the fight, which has been slated for April 23, will be announced in the next few days.
Earlier, Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, announced that he has reached an agreement with Horn’s promoter, Duco Events, for Pacquiao to defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against Horn in his hometown (Brisbane) or another major Australian city.
Later on, Arum clarified that UAE is still in contention to stage Pacquiao-Horn.
Koncz, through gulfnews.com, apologized to the Australian government and fight fans there for the unexpected turnaround.
“It took us a while to get this deal together,” Koncz said.
“There was a lot of confusion whether this is going to happen here in the UAE. [But] I’m here with full authority and power. I have been the marriage counselor for Manny and we have developed a relationship. I’m involved in all aspects of what he does.”
Al Afaq Tourism CEO Diaa Al Khatib, whose management group will be handling the event, said the fight will be held either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.