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Time is right for Pacquiao fight: Horn

AAP logoAAP 6/01/2017 Vince Rugari

Undefeated welterweight Jeff Horn believes the time is right to fight the legendary Manny Pacquiao as negotiations over their proposed blockbuster bout ramp up.

Horn's promoters Duco Events are seeking to lock in what would be the biggest fight in Australian boxing history by the end of the month, with director Dean Lonergan hoping to sign a conditional agreement with powerful Top Rank CEO Bob Arum when they meet in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Horn's hometown of Brisbane is the preferred host city and Suncorp Stadium has already been booked for Sunday, April 23, which would facilitate a primetime Saturday night TV audience back in the US.

But with a multi-million dollar purse needing to be raised, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide will all be invited to bid in a competitive tender process.

There was initially talk that Horn (16-0-1) would have to get through either Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley Jr. - two other welterweights in the Top Rank stable - before his chance against the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2) would arrive, but those plans appear to have been shelved.

Horn is still yet to beat a recognised top-tier opponent - his biggest scalp so far is South African Ali Funeka, who he stopped in the sixth round of their clash in Auckland last month.

But the 28-year-old former schoolteacher, who holds a 9cm height advantage over Pacquiao, reckons the time to strike is now.

"Is it the right time? You could say that at any point," he said.

"I've got the youth on my side and Pacquiao's 38 now.

"He's got the experience but I have got the youth on my side and that will get me the win.

"I think over his last couple of fights, I've seen him go down a little bit.

"He's still got very, very good movement, very good skill. But I think he has dropped just slightly, which is a lot at that level."

Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton sees the fight as a "win-win".

"If he loses, it's just business as usual for Manny Pacquiao. But I don't believe he will lose - Jeff is like a younger, stronger Pacquiao."

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