Manila - Philippine world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is
to fight undefeated Jeff Horn on his home turf in Australia, the Filipino
star's camp said on Wednesday.
The announcement of the July bout ends months of speculation
on who the 38-year-old Filipino dubbed "Pac-Man" would face next as
he seeks to prolong a stellar career that saw him win world titles in eight
different weight classes.
"We signed the Jeff Horn contract this morning. Fight
is July 2 in Brisbane, Australia," Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said
Koncz said Pacquiao would be staking his World Boxing
Organisation welterweight crown against Horn, 29.
He declined to say what the prize money would be.
Pacquiao's American promoter Bob Arum had been originally
pushing for the Filipino to face Horn in Australia but in a surprise
development, Pacquiao and British boxer Amir Khan announced separately in
February that they would fight on April 23.
But the deal spectacularly fell through with Arum describing
the reported $38 million United Arab Emirates fight to the Los Angeles Times as
"pie in the sky".
After Horn, Koncz said he was still hoping to set up a
Pacquiao fight with Khan in either the Middle East or the Philippines in
October or November.
Pacquiao, who has been hailed as a virtual national hero in
his home country, briefly retired early last year and then ran and won a seat
in the Philippine senate.
But the retirement was short-lived as Pacquiao, who said he
missed the ring, made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas