Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum said on Wednesday that the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn bout is now almost certain to happen.
Arum said the fight between the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight titleholder and the Australia’s rising fighter is set on July 2 in Brisbane although both parties have signed no contract yet.
“We are very, very close to finalizing everything but nothing has been signed completely yet,” Arum told The Manila Times on Wednesday (Tuesday in US) via overseas call. “I will have an announcement shortly and I’m very optimistic the fight is going to happen.”
Horn was previously named to be the opponent of the 38-year old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) early this year for an April 23 bout slated at the Down Under.
But the deal did not materialize until a new group, led by businessmen from the Middle East, lobbied for Amir Khan for a fight reportedly worth $38 million.
Arum doubted the credibility of the Middle East promoters and the fight with Khan was off that led to another negotiation with Horn, who holds a 16-0-1 win-loss-draw record with 11 knockouts.
Though no deadline is set for the contract signing, Arum said, “everything is in order and everything is moving along for Manny’s next fight.”
The Times tried to contact the Pacquiao camp but no one was available to comment on the Horn fight as of this writing.
JOSEF T. RAMOS