After a lot of speculation as to who Manny Pacquiao would fight next, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that the boxing legend from Philippines will take on Australian boxer Jeff Horn on April 22. The venue of the fight is still to be decided. Horn is currently undefeated in his professional career and the two will battle it out for the WBO Welterweight title.
Arum also said that this fight is just one of many for Manny Pacquiao, with the boxer set to go on a World Tour starting with this fight.
"We did world tours with Muhammad Ali and that's what I'm going to do with Manny. It's good for him to fight all over. He might be president of the Philippines someday and fighting around the world is good for that possibility," ESPN quoted the boxing promoter as saying.
Since coming out of retirement, Pacquiao has been eyeing for a rematch against Floyd Mayweather. Arum had said that there was a 75 percent chance that they might actually fight again, but that fight could not be agreed upon. Pacquiao will instead square off against Horn as he looks to get his 60th career win.
"Horn and his management have agreed on the purse and now we're working on a site. We'll know the location of the fight in the next few days. Once we have a location then I'll fly over to the Philippines to meet with Manny and finalize everything on our side. But he is going to fight Jeff Horn," Arum was quoted as saying.
Horn has not fought any big names in his boxing career so far and this fight against Pacquiao will be his biggest till date. Arum initially wanted the Australian to fight either Timothy Bradley Jr. or Jessie Vargas and if he won that fight then he would get to fight Pacquiao. But Arum said that Horn really wanted this fight and that people found him an acceptable opponent for Pacquiao.
The Philippines boxer is the clear favourite heading into this fight but Arum said that Horn could give Pacquiao a run for his money.
"I thought he was a really rugged guy. He's a good fighter. Does he beat Manny? Probably not, but he's going to give him a good fight. He has a very pleasing personality," Arum was quoted as saying.
With the venue not yet decided, Arum said that the fight could happen either in Australia or in the United Arab Emirates.