Manny Pacquiao to defend against Jeff Horn in Australia
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) will defend his title against unbeaten contender Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) on July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
A bout with Horn was initially scrapped because Pacquiao opted for a fight against Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates in April instead, but the Khan deal fell through due to financial reasons.
Pacquiao, 38, the only eight-division world champion in boxing history, regained the WBO 147lb title for a third time, scoring a one-sided unanimous decision over defending champion Jessie Vargas in November.
Horn, 29, who will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd in Brisbane, has won all of his last three fights by KO, against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller and Randall Bailey.
Although facing the Filipino legend represents a huge step up in opposition for Horn, it is a challenge he believes he is ready for.
"Finally this rocky road about announcing this fight is finally over. We can say it's finally happening on July 2," said Horn. " I'd never actually thought Pacquiao would still be around when I was going to get my shot at the world title. He is getting a bit older, I am still young. I am ready to take this shot and I am ready to take it off Pacquiao."
The bout billed as "The Battle of Brisbane" is expected to attract 55,000 fans and a record pay-per-view audience in Australia.
Promoter Bob Arum said: "Manny has been a pioneer, bringing world title fights to Cowboys Stadium, The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena and now Suncorp Stadium. We’re boxing’s version of Lewis & Clark, discovering new markets. Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite but he can’t wait to give Australia and the world a great performance. It’s going to be an unbelievable event."