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Suncorp Stadium booked for proposed April 23rd Pacquiao bout

Australia has been selected as the site of Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, even as the opponent is still being finalized. Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium has a capacity of 52,000, about the same amount that came out to see Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey in Texas’ Cowboys Stadium (now known as AT&T Stadium).

Australian contender Jeff Horn is the odds on favorite to be selected for the bout as negotiations have reached the final stages. Ranked #2 in the WBO welterweight rankings, Horn (16-0 11KO’s) would still be a large underdog in a fight with Pacquiao.

Horn is the current owner of the WBO’s Inter-Continental welterweight title and knocked out former world champion, South Africa’s Ali Funeka. Horn was also a participant in the 2012 London Olympics, representing his native Australia. Due to Horn’s limited experience, critics may point to the bout as an easy win for Pacquiao but Horn will have advantages in height, reach, and age. Horn will have the opportunity of a lifetime when he faces a living legend in his home country, but win or lose the publicity and exposure that will be afforded to him will be very good for his career.

For Pacquiao fans based in the Philippines this fight will be a great chance to see the national icon due to Australia’s close proximity to the Philippines, especially in relation to Las Vegas. For Pacquiao himself, this bout will be an opportunity to get the elusive knockout that Manny has been unable to gain since 2009. Miguel Cotto was the last fighter Pacquiao was able to stop before the final bell.

The broadcasting rights of the fight internationally is also still being finalized, as the plan is to present the contest on primetime free TV in North America. This is following the growing trend of putting fights on free TV for the purpose of getting more viewers than a pay-per-view contest. The date of the presentation is stated to be April 23rd, following in the seemingly new tradition of fighting at that time of year. Pacquiao fought in April in 2014 and 2016, along with the big fight with Mayweather in May 2015.

By Julian Fortaleza