Horn: Pacquiao is playing mind games

Jeff Horn

Australian welterweight, Jeff Horn, thinks Manny Pacquiao’s recent Tweets regarding fighting in the UAE are nothing more than mind games.

Until this week, it was widely reported that Horn was set to face Pacquiao, in Australia, for the WBO welterweight title. Such reports were solidified by Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, who told The Sunday Mail, it was his “goal” to “make this fight with Jeff Horn in Australia”.

Arum also implied the fight was essentially a done deal.

“Horn and his management have agreed on the purse and now we’re working on a site,” Arum said. “We’ll know the location of the fight in the next few days.”

This was backed up by reports that Duco Events, Horn’s Promoter, were negotiating a deal with the Australian government in order to host the event in April at Suncorp Stadium.

“We will leave no stone unturned to make this fight happen in Australia,” said Dean Lonergan, head of Duco Events, whilst speaking to Sky Sports.

However, in the past few days, there was a twist in the tale. Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, stated Australia had always been one of a number of possibilities, but Pacquiao’s next fight would definitely take place in the UAE.

“It took us a while to get this deal together,”
said Koncz. “There was a lot of confusion whether this is going to happen here in the UAE. [But] I’m here with full authority and power. I have been the marriage counsellor for Manny and we have developed a relationship. I’m involved in all aspects of what he does.

“We have executed the agreement in the morning and 100 percent the fight will he here in the UAE.”

This was followed with two tweets from Pacquiao, the first announcing his fight in the UAE and the second asking fans who he should fight.

The second tweet gave fans four options; Jeff Horn, Amir Khan, Terence Crawford and Kell Brook. The online poll received over 44,000 votes. Amir Khan won by a huge margin claiming 48% of the votes, whilst Horn found himself lingering in fourth place with 7%.

Such actions, by Pacquiao and his team, have left Jeff Horn somewhat fustrated.

“It’s very confusing and frustrating,’’ Horn told the Courier Mail. “The fact that Pacquiao is now tweeting about different opponents is so annoying because we were under the impression that he had agreed to fight me on April 23. We don’t even know if it’s Pacquiao tweeting this stuff or if he’s given control of his page to someone else.

“I’ll fight him anywhere but obviously, it would be awesome to have the fight in Brisbane. I think all these tweets are just mind games, a ploy for Pacquiao and his team to show me that they have all the power and they are calling the shots over the fight.”

“I just want to get in the ring and show Pacquiao my power.’’

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