THE confusion surrounding Jeff Horn’s touted world-title fight with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao continues.
It was believed that Horn and Pacquiao would fight on Australian shores for the Filipino’s WBO welterweight title at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Manny Pacquiao took to Twitter earlier this week, asking fans who he should fight next in the United Arab Emirates, fuelling speculation that not only is the fight with Horn likely to skip Australia, but perhaps his date with the Australian isn’t secure either.
Pacquiao published a poll asking fans who he should fight next in the ring. The poll listed four fighters — Amir Khan, Terence Crawford, Kell Brook and Horn.
Almost 45,000 votes have been cast and Horn has just seven per cent of the votes.
But Jim Banaghan, a member of promotional company Duco Events, who promote Jeff Horn, says the fight between the Australian welterweight and Pacquiao is still in place despite the speculation.
“Jeff’s very hopeful that the fight is going to be on at Suncorp Stadium as we are at Duco, his promoters,” Banaghan told Triple M’s Deadset Legends program.
“It’s agreed that Manny and Jeff Horn were fighting on April 23rd. It was always where they were fighting that was the only thing in question.
“Bob Arum was very close to working out with Duco that the fight was going to be in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium and we’re still working towards that.”
But when pressed, Banaghan refused to state when questioned whether the promotional company had received a signed deal from Pacquiao committing to the Horn fight.
“Mate, you’re looking for a world exclusive and you’re not going to get it this afternoon,” Banaghan replied.
“The bloke that is advising him (Pacquiao) is apparently his marriage counsellor. He’s got no rights to be making any contracts anywhere.
“I know how much effort Duco have put to get this fight together for Brisbane. Unless you’ve been in the boxing game a long time it’s just too hard to try and piece it together.
Horn told Fox Sports News he is in the dark as to the future date with the Filipino star. He has left the negotiations in the hands of his promotional team, but is confused as anyone with Pacquiao’s tweets.
The former schoolteacher was interviewed during the recent Anthony Mundine-Danny Green broadcast to help promote the fight, but it seems that was somewhat premature.
“Someone’s come out when they shouldn’t have and has announced 100 per cent that the fight is somewhere else,” Horn told Fox Sports News.
“It’s a bit of a shock for all of us to go, ‘Hold on a second. We had the fight planned for here.’ As far as I know the fight is still in Brisbane and hopefully we’ll find out in the next few days what’s happening.”
With the Horn-Pacquiao fight not expected to be offered on pay-per-view in the United States, more revenue will be sought from the venues gate.
A substantial fee from wealthy Middle East backers would be favoured from the Pacquiao camp, which would no doubt trump any subsequent offer from Australia.
The WBO champion previously defended his title against Chris Algieri and Brandon Rios in 2014, after a significant fee was paid from a casino in Macau to secure the fights.