MANILA, Philippines – The headlines have been more reassuring to Glenn Rushton over the past 48 hours than they’d been in several weeks.
A few weeks after seeing a fight between his fighter Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao go up in smoke after Pacquiao chased a fight with Amir Khan in Dubai that never materialized, Pacquiao has returned back to discuss a fight with the unbeaten Australian, now eyed for July 2 in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told RingTV via text that “we are finalizing the terms” for the fight, adding that the deal “should be finalized by end of the week.”
It was music to Rushton’s ears.
“I have noted Michael’s comments in the media. We are certainly on the same page as Michael and we look forward to confirmation that Manny is in agreement to fight Jeff as soon as possible,” emailed Rushton, the trainer/manager of Horn (16-0-1, 11 knockouts), a 2012 Olympian and the No. 2 welterweight contender with the IBF and WBO.
Rushton noted that there were still “some contractual details to be resolved. I don’t see any of this as being an issue and I trust we can get this fight signed off during the next week or so.”
The WBO welterweight titleholder Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) had been told by his promoter Bob Arum that he had a deadline of Thursday, Manila time, to come to an agreement to fight Horn or risk sitting out until November.
Horn, nine years younger than Pacquiao, at 29, is co-promoted by New Zealand-based company Duco Events and Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. The government of Queensland, Australia had previously agreed to put up the money to stage the fight.
Though the fight has been maligned online by fans who aren’t moved by the eight-division champion fighting a mostly anonymous Horn, Rushton remains confident the fight will do big business at the Suncorp Stadium.
“I believe that, in bringing a fight of this magnitude to Australia, it can only be a huge positive for the sport,” says Rushton. “After all, few boxers get the opportunity to fight at a world-class stadium like Suncorp, in front of a crowd of 55,000.”
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing