Filipino boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has signed a contract for a July match against Olympian Jeff Horn in Australia, Top Rank chief Bob Arum disclosed on Tuesday, April 4.
Speaking to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, Arum said Pacquiao will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Horn on July 1 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Other details, however, have yet to be finalized.
“We’re slowly finishing up the deal to fight,” Arum told the newspaper. “People have agreed on essential points.”
“Paperwork takes time, particularly when it’s not the usual thing of getting it done in the United States. We’re dealing with an Australian promoter, the state government. Here, in this case, you’ve got to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, and that’s what we’re in the process of doing,” he added.
Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, also confirmed Arum’s statement.
“Yes [Manny signed the contract] this morning,” Koncz told Philstar.
Arum initially endorsed Pacquiao’s match against undefeated Horn on April 23, but was put on hold as the possibility of a match against Britain’s Amir Khan this coming May in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was explored.
The proposed UAE fight against Khan, however, was dropped apparently due to financial issues.
Koncz said he is still looking at the possibility of a Pacquiao-Khan bout after the upcoming match against Horn.
“I am still working on putting a deal together [for Manny] to fight Amir Khan in October or November either in the Middle East or the Philippines,” Koncz said.
Pacquiao, with a record of 59-6-2 win-loss-draw, won his last match via unanimous decision and defended his WBO welterweight title against Jessie Vargas last year. Horn, on the other hand, has a record of 16-0-1 and 11 KOs.
Expressing confidence that the fight against Horn bout will be a blockbuster in Australia, Arum said he expects the tickets for the 55,000-capacity stadium will be sold-out.
“Horn is an Aussie. There’s government behind it. They want the fight. They wanted Manny Pacquiao. Essentially, to buy the cheese, they wanted Pacquiao against this Aussie fighter,” Arum said.