Pacquiao-Horn likely April 23
From all indications, Jeff Horn will be Manny Pacquiao’s first opponent this year.
Terence Crawford comes next.
Fact is, Horn’s co-promoter, Dean Lonergan, is flying in to Los Angeles on Tuesday to discuss with Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, the mechanics of the World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout to be held in Australia.
And if all goes well, particularly on the monetary side, Pacquiao-Horn is likely to be finalized before the week ends.
Arum told The Sunday Mail that Pacquiao and his camp have cleared the negotiations and are ready to fight the unbeaten Horn (16-0-1, 11 knockouts) once the money have been raised by Duco Events, which Lonergan heads.
Though the bout has been booked for April 23 at the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, reports from Australia hint of a possibility that Sydney or Melbourne will eventually enter the hosting derby because of Pacquiao’s stature.
The 5-foot-9 Horn, a former schoolteacher, earned Arum’s respect when he stopped former champion Ali Funeka of South Africa in six rounds in Auckland, New Zealand, last month.
Impressed with Horn’s skills and demeanor, Arum signed the Brisbane native to a co-promotional deal with Duco Events.
Aware of the positive developments, Horn has been discerning Pacquiao’s recent fights and believes he stands a good chance of shocking the boxing world.
“Manny is still a great fighter—one of the greatest boxers ever,” Horn told The Sunday Mail, “but I feel I have the skills to beat him. He’s 38 and I’m 28. He’s slipped a little from his very best and I think now is a great time to challenge him. I know with my home crowd behind me I can realize my dream.”