Manny Pacquiao (right) will reportedly fight Jeff Horn on July 2
Manny Pacquiao (right) will reportedly fight Jeff Horn on July 2 Isaac Brekken

Pacquiao signs deal to fight Horn: report

ALL-TIME boxing great Manny Pacquiao will finally tackle Brisbane's "Fighting Schoolteacher" Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium on July 2 after reportedly signing a contract for the fight.

After playing mind games with the undefeated Acacia Ridge boxer for weeks, Pacquiao has put pen to paper, according to his promoter Bob Arum.

There were only a few "remaining points" to become finalised before the fight was officially announced.

The bout will be fought on a Sunday afternoon - 10 days before State of Origin III - to coincide with a prime-time Saturday night telecast in the United States.

The clash - for Pacquiao's World Boxing Organisation welterweight title - will be the most lucrative fight ever staged in Australia with promoters expecting a sell-out crowd of 55,000.

Pacquiao will likely make more than $A10 million from the bout which is being financially supported by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

The business plan of Horn's promoters Duco Eevnts promises $200 million worth of economic benefits to Queensland with increases in tourism and a global marketing campaign for the fight.

Bob Arum - who started promoting Muhammad Ali in 1966 - told the Los Angeles Times:  "We're slowly finishing up the deal to fight ... people have agreed on essential points.

"Paperwork takes time, particularly when it's not the usual thing of getting it done in the United States.

"We're dealing with an Australian promoter, the State government. ... Here, in this case, you've got to cross the T's and dot the I's, and that's what we're in the process of doing.

"There's nobody objecting to the deal. Everybody is moving ahead to get it done."

Pacquiao was originally scheduled to defend his title at Suncorp on April 23 against Horn, the No. 2 WBO contender, but opted instead to pursue a $49 million offer made to him by a consortium in the United Arab Emirates for a fight with British Muslim boxer Amir Khan.

While Pacquiao announced the fight in the desert was set, the purse proved to be nothing but a mirage and he came back to the original offer against Horn.

Pacquiao, 38, is expected to arrive in Brisbane well ahead of the fight for a series of press conferences across Australia.

The world champ - who is also a leading senator in the Philippines - has a record of 59 wins, six losses and two draws and is said to have earned as much as $500 million from boxing over the last 20 years.

Horn, who is undefeated in 17 pro fights after making the quarter-finals of the London Olympics, is heartened by the fact that Pacquiao has lost three of his last eight fights, was knocked unconscious by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and has not won a fight inside the distance in eight years.

"I'm getting him at the right time," Horn said.

"He's a great fighter but he's slipped a little bit from his peak and I'm getting better with each fight."

News Corp Australia

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