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Horn: It’s real! I am fighting Pacquiao

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Top Rank CEO Bob Arum announced it first in January. Manny Pacquiao will be heading to Australia to fight Olympian Jeff Horn in April.

Suddenly, everybody were caught by surprised when Pacquiao himself tweeted on social media that his next fight is to be held in Middle East and his opponent — Amir Khan.

Horn and his camp were left hanging in the air.

And, Horn thought, maybe this is not yet the right time for him to get a shot at the eight-division world champion.

The 27-year-old former teacher, didn’t think the bout would come to fruition the soonest possible time.

But, when heard that the Pacquiao-Khan negotiation collapsed, which according to Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, the fight is just moved to a later date due to Ramadan, Horn and his camp cannot denied their assumption that Pacquiao would turn his attention to the original fighter thrown at him by Arum and that is … Horn.

And when he came face-to-face with Pacquiao during the press conference last Wednesday at the Suncorp Stadium, the 55,000-seater venue for their 12-round battle comes July 2, Horn was ecstatic and didn’t minced a word to describe how he felt.

But there’s one thing in his mind.

This is real!

“I just said ‘hello’ to him – just like I would anyone else,” Horn said. “To see in his eye, to hear him talk about fighting me, it makes it all come to life. I can stop pinching myself now – it’s real.”

Pacquiao arrived in Australia last Monday to start the promotional tour for his fight with Horn.

And as always, he promised to prepare hard to give boxing fans what they would like to see on July 2. (Axel Roman)