Manny Pacquiao was scheduled to fight his next bout against British veteran Amir Khan, but financial arrangements for that fight have fallen through. Pacquiao may now travel to Australia in June, according to promoter Bob Arum, where the Filipino legend would face undefeated welterweight prospect Jeff Horn in what is already being called the biggest boxing event in Australian history.
The Pacquiao vs. Khan fight had been set up for April, but a $37 million investment package that had been arranged involving financiers in the United Arab Emirates failed to come together, causing the fight itself to come off the books.
“The fight can’t happen in April because the people who were putting on the money were not able to,” Arum said earlier this week. “Hopefully, that fight can happen in November.”
In the meantime, Arum hopes to arrange a date for his 38-year-old welterweight great to get back into the ring, and the promoter says that a deal is already in place for Pacquiao to take on Horn. But that doesn’t mean the fight, which would take place in Brisbane, Australia, is a done deal.
“We have a deal in place, hopefully it will be in July,” Arum said this week. “But I’m waiting to hear back. It’s up to Manny.”
If it happens, the fight would likely be staged in front of an expected crowd of more than 50,000 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, a facility used primarily for Rugby League and Rugby Union matches.
The 29-year-old Horn, despite his age, has fought only 17 bouts in his professional career. But he has won 16 with only a lone draw in his fourth professional fight back in 2013 marring his win streak. He has scored 11 knockouts, but would appear to come into the hoped-for fight at a considerable disadvantage to the 38-year-old Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, who moonlights as a senator in his home country after he was elected to the office last year, has won world championship belts in eight different weight classes, working his way up from the 112-pound flyweight division where he first won a title in 1999 at age 22.
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Pacquiao has fought 67 times since turning pro at age 16 in 1995. He has won 59 fights, 38 by knockout, against six losses and two draws.
He has fought in the 147-pound welterweight division since 2009, when he moved up to fight Puerto Rican great Miguel Cotto, winning Cotto’s World Boxing Organization belt with a 12th-round TKO.
But Arum cautions that Pacquiao may still decide to bypass Horn as well as Khan, opting instead for a better-known opponent who could bring in big pay-per-view bucks in the United States, the primary market for big-money boxing.
“I think that when we come to November, I think that there are other candidates that would probably do a lot better, particularly on U.S. pay-per-view, like either Adrien Broner or Terence Crawford,” Arum told the website Boxing Scene. “Guys like that, who probably have more credibility at this point, in this country, than Amir Khan does.”
Finally, Arum admitted that he still could not determine when Pacquiao would fight next.
“We are discussing various places, but obviously the fight finance is always there as part of making the fight, so that’s not a problem.”
[Featured Image By Christian Petersen/Getty Images]