SYDNEY: WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao could fight Australian Jeff Horn in Queensland state after officials confirmed on Sunday they were in negotiations to host the bout.
There has been weeks of speculation that the 38-year-old Filipino dubbed “Pac-Man” will get into the ring with Horn in April, possibly in Australia.
“We now are getting the pieces together to deliver this major fight,” Queensland’s tourism minister Kate Jones told reporters in Brisbane.
“We are working very closely with Duco Events, (venue manager) AEG Ogden and as well as the (Brisbane City) Council to secure this fight here in Brisbane.
“We’re hoping to lock this down as soon as possible.”
Describing it as the “largest boxing event in Australia”, Jones said her government was keen to secure the fight at the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium.
Suncorp Stadium general manager Alan Graham said 28-year-old Horn was keen to fight at the Brisbane venue.
“He’s personally said that he couldn’t think of anything more exhilarating than walking out in the middle of Suncorp Stadium with a full house and people backing him… for a fight,” Graham told reporters.
Horn’s promoter Duco Events was not immediately available for comment.
Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper said Sunday the fight had been pencilled in for April 23.
Pacquiao, who has parlayed his sporting fame into a career in politics, is a veteran of 67 fights with 59 victories.
His record easily dwarfs that of Horn, who hails from Queensland, who has notched up only 17 fights with 16 wins.
Pacquiao said last week that negotiations for the fight, including the date and opponent, were still ongoing.