Manny Pacquiao’s camp acknowledged over the weekend that a deal is almost in place for the fighting Filipino senator to defend his welterweight title against unbeaten Australian challenger Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane.
“We are working on it” said Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz in a phone call from General Santos City.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum had issued an ultimatum last week and a story was carried by the Manilla Bulletin, telling Pacquiao (59-6-2 with 38 KOs) to decide in 48 hours to fight Horn (16-0-1 with 11 KOs) or face the risk of not getting a fight until November.
Last time Pacquiao was in the ring was against Jessie Vargas in November last year in Las Vegas.
Arum likewise confirmed that talks are on going but there are still issues to be resolved.
“I’ll have something in a few days” said the 85-year-old Arum from the US after Koncz’s issued his short statement.
Arum had originally wanted the fight to take place on April 23 but Pacquiao and Koncz had different plans with the United Arab Emirates as an alternate venue.
But the UAE could not deliver and negotiations fell apart, something Arum had earlier feared as it could not be determined where the mouth-watering $38-million purse would come from.
Arum is looking at staging fights outside the US owing to the anemic pay-per-view sales.