Australia’s Jeff Horn looks more and more set for a bout against boxing great Manny Pacquaio as Pacquaio’s team indicated that his next fight would be in Australia.
“Right now, we are only looking at Australia [for Pacquaio’s next fight],” said Pacquaio’s promoter Bob Arum in a meeting with Horn’s backer Dean Lonergan in Las Vegas on Monday night.
Arum said he would fly to Manila once a “conditional contract” was ready.
While Horn hoped the fight would be in his hometown at Suncorp Stadium, Lonergan said the fight would take place that made the “best commercial sense”.
Other than Australian stadiums, Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz also suggested that the bout might take place in the Middle East, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi or the United Arab Emirates.
“While Bob Arum has the authority to negotiate for Manny Pacquiao, we are also looking at the possibility of bringing the fight to the United Arab Emirates,” said Koncz. “The bottom line is we are looking for the best financial package for Manny.”
Horn believed he could beat Pacquaio, as he thought that the 38-year-old had diminished in performance.
“I think Pacquiao’s still right up there, he hasn’t lost much from where he was in his prime… I do think he’s going down a little bit and I could take advantage of that,” said Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs).
“The first step in boxing is believing in yourself and I believe that I can beat Manny Pacquiao or any of the other world champions that are out there right now.”
However, Pacquaio’s coach Justin Fortune said the Filipino boxer and politician (59-6-2, 38 KOs) was still “a live dog’’.
“Manny is still extremely quick, ridiculously quick,’’ Fortune said, “and he’s still an extremely heavy puncher.”