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Manny Pacquiao signs for Jeff Horn fight as details are ironed out

Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Promotions
Fighters Network
05
Apr

MANILA, Philippines – The Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight took a major step toward being official when Pacquiao signed his contract to face the unbeaten Australian in his hometown of Brisbane on Wednesday, local time.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum told the Los Angeles Times of that development and it was confirmed to Agence France-Presse by Michael Koncz, meaning that little more than an announcement would make the fight official.

“We signed the Jeff Horn contract this morning. Fight is July 2 in Brisbane, Australia,” Koncz told AFP.

The fight is expected to take place on that date at the Suncorp Stadium, which parties associated with the fight say can be adjusted to seat 55,000 patrons.



Arum, who handles Pacquiao with his Top Rank Promotions company and also shares promotional rights to Horn alongside New Zealand-based Duco Events, which will promote the event, tells the L.A. Times, “People have agreed on essential points” but the process is moving slowly as the different parties, including the Queensland government, tie up matters on their end.

The fight had originally been all but finished for April 29 before Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) opted to pursue a higher-profile fight with former gym mate Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates. That fight fell through when the $38 million being offered by local investors never materialized, putting Pacquiao into a position to either accept a fight against Horn or wait until November to defend his WBO welterweight title.

Glenn Rushton, the manager/trainer of Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), tells RingTV he’d been advised that “There are still some technical details to be resolved but it would appear we are almost there.”

Arum said one of the details still to be worked out is whether or not the fight would be a self-produced pay-per-view, similar to the one on which Pacquiao fought Jessie Vargas last November.

Though few outside of Australia had previously heard of Horn, Arum says he expects the venue to be sold out while Rushton estimates the fight would be the “biggest sporting event in Australia in 2017.”

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.

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