TITLE BEGGING: Brisbane's Jeff Horn is close to a world title shot against Filipino great Manny Pacquiao.
TITLE BEGGING: Brisbane's Jeff Horn is close to a world title shot against Filipino great Manny Pacquiao. DAVE HUNT

Horn can beat Manny - if fight comes off

BOXING: Former Brisbane schoolteacher Jeff Horn says he can beat one of boxing's greatest champions Manny Pacquiao.

Horn, who took up boxing in an effort to frighten off bullies, could be fighting the Filipino great at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on April 23 if negotiations are successful.

Horn's promoter Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday trying to tie up the biggest fight ever staged in Australia.

Horn is confident he can cause one of the great upsets in boxing history.

But there are two hurdles - Pacquiao is still a formidable force and Brisbane has to find the money to pay for the world welterweight champ's multi-million-dollar purse.

Pacquiao, now a Filipino politician, wanted $20 million to face American Terence Crawford in April but will likely demand less for Horn.

"This is a dream come true,” Horn told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail, "and it's a fight I can definitely win.

"Manny is a lot shorter than me and I fight well against guys who are shorter than me and who are coming forward.”

Horn said even though he has had only 17 pro fights compared with Pacquiao's 67 the fight was not coming "too soon”.

"I've got youth on my side,” he said. "He's 38, I'm 28. He's got the experience but I think he's slipped a bit.

"He's still got very good movement and skills but he has dropped form just slightly and that means a lot at the top level.”

Horn had expected to face former world champion Jessie Vargas before a Pacquiao fight late in 2017 but the opportunity to face the Filipino world champ came when Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum canned the proposed Pacquiao-Crawford fight this week.

"Bob Arum seems to want the fight with me and Pacquiao now before Pacquiao retires. I think he sees it as a changing of the guard,” Horn said.

"I would love to fight here at Suncorp in my own city and I know the crowd support would lift me.

"The roar of the crowd would be fantastic - very motivating.''


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