MANNY Pacquiao revealed who he wants his next opponent to be, and unfortunately for Aussie boxing fans, it isn’t Queenslander Jeff Horn.
Horn was the surprise choice to face ’Pac-Man’ in April, but recent developments put in doubt the blockbuster bout.
On Thursday afternoon (AEDT), Pacquiao confirmed his team and promoter Bob Arum were working on a deal with British boxer Amir Khan to be his “next fight”.
“My team and I are in negotiations with Amir Khan for our next fight. Further announcement coming soon,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz fronted media in Abu Dhabi this month to claim his next fight would take place in the UAE.
Koncz even went as far as apologising to the Australian public for the confusion, explaining that the UAE was always the first preference and Brisbane was merely a “back-up plan”.
Pacquiao also tweeted, “see you in UAE for my next fight” earlier this month. The 38-year-old then polled Twitter users on who he should next fight, with Khan the preferred option.
The Horn-Pacquiao fight would have been one of the biggest in Australian boxing history, with the Queensland government backing the push for Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium to host.
Reports Khan had reached an agreement with promoter Bob Arum to fight Pacquiao surfaced this week, but Arum dismissed the speculation as “bulls**t.”
However Koncz confirmed Horn was but one of a number of candidates for Pacquiao’s next fight.
Pacquiao and Khan are former training partners, with the Englishman’s representatives reportedly meeting Arum last month.
Arum confirmed the Brisbane fight was dead in the water.
“The Australian deal is not going to happen now, because Manny is trying to get a fight done in the United Arab Emirates, and the people there favor him fighting Amir Khan,” Arum told ESPN.
“Whether it will happen or not, I just don’t know, because they have to come up with a large amount of money.
“Manny seems to believe they will come up with the money. I have some reservations whether it will happen or not. If the money comes up, I will aid and abet the fight happening. But right now, I’m holding my powder. I don’t really know.”