By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao apparently isn’t sold on Jeff Horn as his next opponent, either.
A day after Tweeting that his next fight will take place in the United Arab Emirates, not Australia, Pacquiao posted a poll Sunday on his Twitter account that asked fans to vote on who he should fight next. The four options, in order, are Amir Khan, Jeff Horn, Terence Crawford and Kell Brook.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has indicated to BoxingScene.com and other outlets over the past month that Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) would oppose the mostly unknown Horn. Arum also has been negotiating with representatives from Duco Events, Horn’s Australia-based promoter, to stage the fight at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, a rugby stadium that could accommodate more than 50,000 fans for boxing.
On Saturday, however, Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s longtime adviser, said that Australia was a backup site in case he couldn’t finalize a deal to bring the Filipino superstar’s next fight to either Abu Dabai, the UAE’s capital city, or Dubai, the country’s most populated city. Those locations have long been rumored as potential sites for big fights, but none of those events have materialized.
If the 38-year-old Pacquiao’s next fight does indeed take place somewhere in the United Arab Emirates, Khan seemingly makes more sense than Horn as Pacquiao’s opponent.
Not only is Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) more known and proven than Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), Khan, who was born and raised in England, is of Pakistani descent, is a devout Muslim and is popular in predominantly Muslim countries. Khan, 30, hasn’t fought since Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez knocked him out in the sixth round of their May 7 fight in Las Vegas.
A Pacquiao-Brook bout would seem more likely to take place in England, where Sheffield’s Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) is an established star. And it would make more sense to stage a fight between Pacquiao and Omaha, Nebraska’s Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) in the United States.
Regardless, based on Pacquiao’s Tweet on Sunday, it doesn’t seem as though he is sold on boxing Horn next. Arum has mentioned April 22 (April 23 in Australia) as the probable date for a Pacquiao-Horn fight.
To vote in Pacquiao’s poll, click here: https://twitter.com/mannypacquiao?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.