Pacquiao slated to fight Australian Horn in July


After months of negotiations, world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn have agreed to a fight.

Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against the Australian at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on July 2, Horn's promoter Duco Events announced on Saturday.

While Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank, said the deal has yet to be made official, the 38-year-old Filipino star is on board for the bout.

"We are extremely close to the deal being finalised, but Manny has signed," Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN.

A deal for Pacquiao to defend his title against Horn had initially been scrapped in favour of a fight against Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates on April 23, though the agreement with the British boxer eventually fell through.

Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) last fought on November 5 and defeated Jessie Vargas to reclaim the welterweight title he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their 2015 blockbuster showdown.

Horn (16-0-1), 29, had been campaigning to fight Pacquiao for quite some time and will now get a chance to make a name for himself.

"Finally this rocky road about announcing this fight is finally over. We can say it's finally happening on July 2," Horn told Australian media outlets. 

"I'd never actually thought Pacquiao would still be around when I was going to get my shot at the world title. I'm still young, still under 30, so I'm ready to take this shot."