Pacquiao fights relative unknown on April 22
THE prospect of Sen. Manny Pacquiao retiring for good might just need to wait a bit longer.
Two months removed from his bout with Jessie Vargas in November of last year, the Filipino fighting pride, according to a report by ESPN, will once again set foot inside the ring as a deal with up-and-coming Aussie Jeff Horn has been struck for a showdown in April.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan on Wednesday, inked the agreement, formalizing the April 22 bout.
The venue for the fight has yet to be determined and it could be held either in Australia or in the United Arab Emirates as disclosed in the two camp’s meeting in Las Vegas.
But Arum said one thing’s for sure: the eight-division champ will defend his belt in three months’ time.
“Once we have a location, then I’ll fly over to the Philippines to meet with Manny and finalize everything on our side,” Arum said. “But he is going to fight Jeff Horn.”
This will be Pacquiao’s first title defense of the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt he won after a methodical unanimous decision win over Vargas last Nov. 5.
He might be relatively unknown outside of Australia, but the 28-year-old Horn has won 16 of his 17 pro fights shortly after representing his country in the 2012 London Olympics. His fourth fight ended in a draw.
In what has been labeled as one of the biggest fights in Australian boxing history, the match between a young boxing prospect raring to prove his mettle and an evergreen future Hall of Famer is expected to delay further Pacquiao’s plans to hang up his gloves.