UNHERALDED Australian Jeff Horn has won the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes as he’s set to challenge the Filipino ring icon for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title this summer.
A deal has been agreed between Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Dean Lonergan on Wednesday (Manila time) about the April 22 (US time) bout to be staged either in Australia or the United Arab Emirates. Arum represents Pacquiao while Lonergan is Horn’s backer along with Duco Events.
A press conference was later held at the Regatta Hotel in Brisbane to announce what has been labeled as one of the biggest fights in Australian boxing history.
ESPN was the first to break the news early Wednesday morning.
The 12-round match marks Pacquiao’s first defense of the welterweight belt he won over Jessie Vargas last November at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The 38-year-old Filipino southpaw emerged winner over Vargas by unanimous decision.
Horn, 28, represented Australia in the 2012 London Olympics and turned pro a few months after the Summer Games.
The 5-foot-9 Aussie is relatively unknown outside of Australia, having fought all of his 17 bouts in Brisbane. He last fought in December of 2016 which ended in a sixth round technical knockout over former three-time world champion Ali Funeka of South Africa.
Horn has a 16-0-1 record with 11 KOs.