Duco Events director Dean Lonergan has refuted stories of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium being finalized as the venue for a potentially massive Australian match-up featuring Jeff Horn and the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
Reports from down under have begun to surface that Horn will face Pacquiao on April 23 at the 52,500 capacity home of Brisbane Roar, although Lonergan has revealed nothing official has been agreed between the fighters, let alone the location.
“Duco’s discussions with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing have been very positive to date, but as yet we do not have a signed agreement to hold the fight in Brisbane,” Lonergan exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Duco are incredibly appreciative of the strong media, corporate and wider community interest in this world title fight and we remain confident of delivering a world class spectacle featuring local hero Jeff Horn.
“Whilst current negotiations are being fast tracked by all parties with an intent to reach a commercial agreement including a venue contract with Suncorp Stadium, Duco and Top Rank can only confirm this world title fight in Brisbane once these formalities and contractual agreements are completed.
“We are working with all parties to an agreed timeline and based upon the goodwill of all involved to date we are confident this timeline will be met.
“Duco and Top Rank will make an announcement once this process is concluded.”
Pacquiao, 38, has so far been unreceptive to several statements from promoter Bob Arum naming Horn as his next foe, whilst the Filipino even asked his fans via social media as early as last week whom he should face in his upcoming bout.
Arum also confirmed Pacquiao would be retiring in 2017, only for the Senator to declare his intention to fight on until at least 2018, leaving most believing the two are not currently on the same page.
Money has been something of an issue as Pacquiao has asked the government for $60 million to fund a big fight at the end of 2017, possibly with the intention of enticing Floyd Mayweather to fight him for a second time.
A lot hinges on what figures Arum comes up with in order for Pacquiao to sign off on any collision with Horn, although the general consensus is that the fight should go ahead as Top Rank and Duco have originally planned.
“I’m very confident it will happen,” added Lonergan when asked whether he was worried by Pacquiao’s apparent lack of enthusiasm in the public domain.