SYDNEY: Australia’s Jeff Horn will defend his WBO welterweight title against England’s Gary Corcoran in December before a potential blockbuster bout with UFC star Conor McGregor, reports said on Sunday.
Promoter Dean Lonergan told state broadcaster ABC he was working on a second event in Brisbane before June 30 next year.
“We’d love to have Manny Pacquiao down here (again), he’s certainly one of the guys on the table,” he said.
“There’s been some murmurings and rumblings that perhaps we could get Conor McGregor down here.
“I would put the challenge out to Conor McGregor — tell me how much you want it and we’ll see if we can make it work.”
Horn stunned Manny Pacquiao in a unanimous 12-round points decision in July, with the Filipino great pulling out of a planned rematch later this year.
This has opened the door to Corcoran, with the bout set for December 13 in Brisbane as part of a two-fight deal inked with the Queensland state government, the Brisbane Courier-Mail said.
“Corcoran is 26, so he’s three years younger than me — he’s very fit, strong and hungry,” Horn told the newspaper.
“He’s a dangerous guy. I know what it’s like to be a determined underdog just like he is going into this fight.
“This is his golden opportunity to do what I did against Pacquiao but there are millions of dollars on offer for me with big fights in 2018 so I can’t let this guy come to my home town and wreck all my good work.”
Known as “Hell Raiser”, Corcoran has 17 wins and one defeat to Horn’s 17 wins and one draw.
He told World Boxing News earlier this month he was keen to face Horn in the biggest fight of his career.
“Horn is there to beat, I can beat him. I’ve sparred with some world class fighters in this country, I can win a world title,” Corcoran said.
If he wins, Horn then hopes to fight mixed martial arts champion McGregor, who made his boxing debut in a money-spinning defeat to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in August.
Charismatic Irishman McGregor performed creditably and said afterwards he was open to boxing again, potentially placing him on a collision course with his Ultimate Fighting Championship paymasters.
Pacquiao open for any possibilities but not in Australia
Pacquiao’s close friend and former World champion Gerry Penalosa believes the eight-division world champion is open to fighting anyone including a rematch with Horn next year but not in Australia anymore.
Pacquiao, 38, said that he was robbed of a victory after suffering the controversial unanimous decision loss to Horn in Brisbane.
“If you ask me as what I know, Manny (Pacquiao) really like to have a rematch with Horn next year but not in Australia. Maybe they will fight in China or in the US, but it is up to Manny where to fight,” the former World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight and WBO bantamweight champion told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
Asked about Pacquiao’s retirement plan, Penalosa said: “He is not discussing any retirement yet. He still wants to fight.”
Pacquiao (59-7-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) refused to fight late this year because of his hectic schedule in the senate.
AFP with reports from JOSEF T. RAMOS