Pacquiao vs Horn: Queensland not splashing Pacquiao cash yet

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    Manny Pacquiao (photo: Wiki Commons)

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    The bidding war for Australia’s biggest ever boxing event is underway with Brisbane the early frontrunner to host Jeff Horn’s blockbuster fight with Manny Pacquiao.

    But Queensland tourism and major events minister Kane Jones has warned the state government will only underwrite the historic bout as long as it provides enough value for the multi-million dollar outlay.

    Horn’s promoters Duco Events have brokered a deal with Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum – arguably the sport’s most powerful figure – to stage the fight in Australia on Sunday, April 23.

    Suncorp Stadium is the sentimental favourite and the iconic 52,500-seat venue would represent a dream outcome for Horn, a 28-year-old former schoolteacher and diehard rugby league fan.

    Duco will shortly begin talks with potential sponsors while the NSW, South Australian and Victorian governments are also expected to express interest in acquiring hosting rights.

    If the money can’t be raised in Australia, it could be moved to the United States or United Arab Emirates.

    Ms Jones said there had been no formal approach to Queensland yet but they’re more than happy to talk.

    “Suncorp Stadium is one of the best outdoor sporting venues in the country so I think Queensland would be at an advantage compared to other states,” Jones said.

    “There isn’t a bad seat at Suncorp so we’ve got a real home advantage in having such a great stadium here that would be the perfect place to hold a fight of this magnitude.

    “Like any deal, we always have to look at value for money for taxpayers.”

    Duco was unable on Wednesday to confirm the total funding figure they are seeking, but it’s believed to be in excess of $5 million.

    Suncorp Stadium management, meanwhile, are confident they can accommodate the fight and a possible A-League final involving the Brisbane Roar if both eventuate.

    The first week of the A-League finals is on the same weekend and the night of Friday, April 21 would seem to be the only option should the Roar finish either third or fourth and earn the right to play their elimination final at home, and if the bout goes ahead.

    Football Federation Australia has the stadium pre-booked on April 21-22.

    Suncorp Stadium CEO Alan Graham admitted it would take careful and precise planning but said it was capable of staging both events.

    “Obviously it’s something we’ve got to work through, but there’s always plenty of ways around these things,” Graham told AAP.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • January 12th 2017 @ 11:00am
      Ben said | January 12th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

      I appreciate a fighter that believes in themselves. If Horn thinks he can beat Pacquiao, kudos to him. Ricky Hatton made very similar comments too. Hatton was a fighter that was levels ahead of Horn… And he got flogged. Pacquiao in under 6 rounds.

      • Roar Guru

        January 12th 2017 @ 4:06pm
        BigJ said | January 12th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

        Nah man pacman in three

        • January 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm
          Ben said | January 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

          If Horn has heart… He might survive 5 rounds. He’s going to be levels out of his league unfortunately.

      • Roar Guru

        January 13th 2017 @ 9:15am
        John Coomer said | January 13th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Its a huge step up for Jeff Horn no doubt, but people have been writing him off against better, more experienced opponents ever since his amateur days. And he’s proved them wrong just about every time. You never know, he has a huge heart and is a heavy puncher, anything could happen either way.

        • January 13th 2017 @ 10:51am
          Ben said | January 13th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          He’s a capable fighter yes. His heart has never been tested but. He’s been managed extremely well and is only a punchers chance. He’ll do well to last 3 rounds.

    • January 12th 2017 @ 4:27pm
      Gayboy said | January 12th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

      Pacquiao was at his best during the Hatton bout, hence the impressive win. He’s been knocked out cold already, fought a crippling match with Margarito, etc, etc. That’s why Horn thinks he could win, the slippages are undeniable. May the best man win.

      • January 12th 2017 @ 7:31pm
        Ben said | January 12th 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

        Pacquiao was still – by a long way – the 2nd best welterweight on the planet when he fought Mayweather. And Mayweather beat him with ease. The “crippling” fight against Margerito?… You’re surely mistaken… Pacquiao was winning with so much ease, he was asking the referee to stop the fight.

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