The eight-division world champion was initially thought to be travelling to Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium on April 23 to take on the Australian.
However, according to his Canadian adviser, Michael Koncz, the pair will now clash in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai with Pacquiao’s official social media channels posting a message today saying: “See you in UAE for my next fight”.
Speaking to Gulf News in Abu Dhabi, Koncz said: “It took us a while to get this deal together. There was a lot of confusion whether this is going to happen here in the UAE.
“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 per cent the fight will be here in the UAE.”
There was some confusion though with Horn’s camp later claiming they still expect the bout to be held in Brisbane.
Pacquaio’s Top Rank promoter Bob Arum suggested a deal with Horn’s promoter, Duco Events, had been struck to see the 38-year-old take on the unbeaten Australian in front of an expected crowd of 50,000.
“Manny Pacquiao’s exclusive promoter is (Las Vegas-based) Bob Arum and we have been working together for many weeks to have the fight at Suncorp Stadium,’’ said Duco’s Dean Lonergan in a report on the Courier Mail.
“The only person authorised to promote Manny Pacquiao is Bob Arum. Until Bob Arum tells me differently we are continuing with that aim of having the fight at Suncorp Stadium on April 23.”
According to the Courier Mail, Horn leaves on Monday for a three-day tour of North Queensland to promote the Suncorp fight and the 29-year-old added that he would take on Pacquiao in “Antarctica” if he had to but hoped the fight would be “a huge event” in Brisbane.
Koncz, though, apologised to the Australian government and fans for the last-minute change in plans, saying: “I was aware Bob was talking in Australia about hosting the fight there, but it is fine with us.
“I told Bob to go ahead but don’t close it. When Bob said it will happen there I asked him ‘what are you talking about?’ A promoter works for the boxer but the boxer doesn’t work for the promoter.
“We have had a successful bond with him, but Manny is the boss. I told him ‘why are you speaking to the media when it is just a backup plan?
“I don’t have control over what Bob says, he talks a lot of stuff and I apologise to the people of Australia, their government there for all the confusion and also the fans here in the UAE.”
Pacquiao made a successful return to the ring last November after a brief stay in retirement to focus on his duties as a senator in the Philippines House of Representatives. He earned a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas to begin his third reign as WBO welterweight champ while Horn is unbeaten in 17 fights.
Business as usual as Jeff Horn still planning to fight Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp April 23. Bob Arum is Pacquiao's promoter not Michael Koncz— Grantlee Kieza (@Kieza_cmail) February 12, 2017
The WBO welterweight champion revealed via his Twitter page on Sunday that he will take to the ring later this year.
Reports have suggested the 38-year-old’s advisor recently held meetings in the UAE but the fight venue has yet to be announced.
News of the bout is sure to delight a large Filipino community in the Emirates but Pacquiao’s opponent for the April showdown has yet to be revealed.
Are you excited to see the eight division world champion on UAE soil?
The New Balance Beach Run Series, which is presented by Daman Activelife and supported by the Dubai Sports Council, once again provided the perfect opportunity for runners of all ages and abilities to kick off their weekend with some exercise.
After successful Beach Run Series events in Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi in October and November 2016 respectively, the Dubai run completed the current series and is still the UAE’s only beach run event.
With three distances and running categories on offer for participants: 7.2km (serious), 3.6km (fun) and 1.8km (family) there was a run for everyone to enjoy as hundreds of people packed the Festival Village bright and early ahead of the 9am start time.
And before the runners worked up a sweat on the sand, Fitness First Middle East were on hand to provide an expert warm-up and ensure everyone was ready to tackle their respective distance.
Under the shadow of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab, Sunset Beach was a sea of orange as runners wore their New Balance t-shirts, which were part of the event registration package.
Post-race, each and every runner received a finisher’s medal and were able to post about their run using the social media picture frame.
Food, drink, music and plenty of activities were then on offer for runners to enjoy in the village.