Horn to come face to face with Pacquiao

Welterweight boxer Jeff Horn poses for photos in Brisbane
Welterweight boxer Jeff Horn poses for photos in Brisbane DAN PELED

BOXING: Jeff Horn will come face-to-face with Manny Pacquiao for the first time at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday ahead of their fight on July 2.

Their meeting will be at the first of a series of press conferences planned next week in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as Pacquiao prepares to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title against the Fighting Schoolteacher, who is the undefeated No. 2 contender.

Horn's trainer, Glenn Rushton, remains hopeful of securing world junior-lightweight champ and two-time Olympic gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko as Horn's main sparring partner for the biggest bout in Australian history.

"We've had discussions with Bob Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Lomachenko and we're confident he will come to Brisbane,” Rushton said.

Worth the wait? Manny Pacquiao poses on the scale during a weigh-in last year.
Worth the wait? Manny Pacquiao poses on the scale during a weigh-in last year. John Locher

"Lomachenko just came off a win (over Jason Sosa) and he's having a break but we still hope to have him in Brisbane for a month doing three sessions a week with Jeff. He would be perfect for Jeff's preparation. He's a great southpaw like Pacquiao and he's probably a better boxer than Pacquiao. He's the same height (168cm) and he's blisteringly quick.

"I think there would also be plenty of upside for Lomachenko to be involved in a fight of this magnitude with a crowd of 55,000 expected.''

If Lomachenko is unavailable, Rushton is also looking at Russian lightweight Denis Shafikov, a two-time world title challenger.

"I want smaller, fast guys,'' Rushton said. "I want fighters who are lightning fast like Pacquiao.''

Corporate tickets go on sale on Thursday, priced from $495 per head in a corporate box, but 6000 general admission tickets at $39 go on sale Thursday week and promoter Dean Lonergan said there would be 27,000 seats available under $100.

"We're keeping the prices low because we want to draw a record crowd for Australian boxing,'' Lonergan said.

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