By Edward Chaykovsky
Michael Koncz, adviser to eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, was hoping that a deal would be finalized with Amir Khan - but that entire scenario fell apart last month.
The two fighters announced that a deal was reached back in February, for a fight on April 23rd in UAE [televised on April 22 in the United States].
It wasn't long before that deal fell apart, after the investors who promised to back that contest were unable to show any proof of their promised $38 million to stage the fight in the Middle East.
Even before the contest with Khan was explored, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was attempting to finalize a deal for a fight in Australia with 2012 Olympian Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) - also on April 23.
After the contest with Khan fell apart, then Koncz and Pacquiao had no choice but to turn their attention back to Horn.
The fight with Horn is basically a done deal for Brisbane’s Suncorp Arena on July 2. Both fighters have signed binding contracts to face each other.
“Jeff wasn’t our first preference, it was Amir Khan,” Koncz said to Fox Sports Australia. “That didn’t work out and we had this on the table so we decided to take it. Manny will train and do the best he can and hopefully we get the fight over with very quickly, we get out of there, say hi to the Australian fans and media and come home.”
“It’s all done [for the deal with Horn], it’s finished. It’s done. I’m hoping and I’m certain that Australia will, that’s very important and it’s important for Manny to go there and give a good showing to his Australian fans and the Australian people in general. Whether the American public or people gets behind it, I don’t know.”
“Of course I’m a little disappointed [that we didn't fight Khan]. Because we did a poll and (Pacquiao-Khan was) what the people wanted to see. Quite frankly and honestly, I’ve got nothing against Jeff Horn — I’ve never met the kid, I don’t know him personally — but the name recognition, I guess, is why the fans picked Amir Khan. I was just trying to give the fans what they wanted. It didn’t work out and thank goodness Jeff was still on the table, so we decided to it.”