By Steve Kim
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum says that a deal to have WBO welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) and undefeated 2012 Australian Olympian Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) face each other in the summer, in Australia, is still being worked on but he wants to make one thing clear.
"There is no deadline," Arum stated to BoxingScene.com, disputing some recent published reports that such claims.
"The idea was that in order to secure the money from the Queensland government we had to tell them that the deal was done by the end of March and right now we're finishing up all the contracts."
"As far as I'm concerned everything is done. But there are some little strings but they don't amount to much," added Arum on Monday morning.
So who will televise this event?
Arum answered - "First, we want to finalize the deal. Then we're going to have press conferences in Australia for about a week then we'll come back to the United States and we'll figure that out."
Pacquiao, who is now a senator back home in the Philippines, announced his retirement from boxing last April after winning a dominating decision over Timothy Bradley. It wasn't long before Pacquiao announced his return to the ring, and he came back in November to win a decision over Jessie Vargas to capture the WBO belt.
There was some talk of a fight with Amir Khan in UAE, but those plans were dashed aside when the interested investors failed to present evidence of a promised $38 million to stage the event.
Horn has never faced anyone on Pacquiao's level. He was busy in 2016, with three fights from April to December. He stopped former world champions Randall Bailey and Ali Funeka - both of which have seen better days. And he also stopped Rico Mueller of Germany.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.