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Pacquiao to face Horn in Australia

AP (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Manny Pacquiao will be fighting Jeff Horn after all.

Pacquiao's business manager Eric Pineda confirmed to local reporters on Sunday night that the eight-division world boxing champion will stake his WBO welterweight belt against the Australian pug at the Suncorp Stadium in the latter's hometown of Brisbane on July 2.

Pineda, who also acts as Mahindra's team manager, even said that Pacquiao has begun his training for the said match but, just like how he prepared for his match against Jessie Vargas, is staying in the Philippines to focus on his senatorial job.

"Araw-araw siya nagte-training. Nagsimula na siya. Pag nagsimula na ang session sa May 2, the training will be confined here," continued Pineda, who was present in the Floodbusters' PBA Commissioner's Cup match against the TNT KaTropa at the Mall of Asia Arena.

He also said that Coach Freddie Roach will fly in soon to join Pacquiao in training.

However, Pineda said that Pacquiao is still open to fight Amir Khan even as soon as the Horn fight is done.

"The deal with Abu Dhabi did not push through but maybe for his next fight. Hopefully [Manny will fight Amir] if [the fight negotiation] would push through again and the government of the UAE would still want Manny to fight. We're still working on it, because they really want the fight to happen in UAE," Pineda further said.

Heeding with the fans, Pacquiao's camp began negotiations with that of Khan for the said match with both sides even claiming twice that it was already a done deal.

But Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, who has been insisting for the Pacquiao-Horn bout to happen, denied the claims. It was later revealed that the negotiations were stalled due to scheduling problems.

Looking forward to the Pacquiao-Horn match, Pineda said, "Hopefully this will be a good fight. Everybody is excited and wants to go to Australia now. It'll be good for everyone."

For his fearless forecast, Pineda simply said, "Siyempre Manny will win."

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