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Pacquiao back in talks to fight Jeff Horn

Manny Pacquiao is back in talks to fight Australia’s undefeated Jeff Horn, his adviser says © AFP / TED ALJIBE

MANILA, Philippines, Mar 31 – Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is back in talks for a possible fight with unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn, the Filipino world champion’s adviser said Friday.

The announcement follows the much-publicised collapse of a $38 million bout between Pacquiao and Britain’s Amir Khan, reportedly after investors in the United Arab Emirates failed to come up with the money.

“We are discussing the matter with (US promoter Bob) Arum,” Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told AFP by text message, when asked if his boxer would sign a contract Friday to fight Horn.

Top Rank Boxing’s Arum told reporters in New York in mid-March that he was waiting to hear back from Pacquiao, 38, on whether he would take up the option of fighting Horn, 29, after the Khan bout fell through.

Media reports suggested Arum had given Pacquiao until this week to sign the contract, but Koncz declined to comment further.

The Australian state of Queensland had earlier offered to host a Pacquiao-Horn fight in Brisbane.

In February, Pacquiao, a world title-winner in an unprecedented eight weight divisions and Khan, the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, both tweeted that they would fight on April 23.

However, Arum told the Los Angeles Times on March 8 that the proposed fight in the UAE had proven to be “pie in the sky”.

“Manny wanted to roll the dice. He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes. If something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” Arum told the newspaper.

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Pacquiao, in the twilight of a glittering career, briefly retired last year but made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas in November.

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