Las Vegas-based boxing promoter Bob Arum says unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn is just two fights away from setting up a big money bout against welterweight Manny Pacquiao.
Arum, who will be ringside on Saturday night in Auckland to watch the number two-ranked Horn (13 W, 8 KOs, 0 losses, 1 Draw) face South Africa’s world No. 8 Ali Funeka, said in a press conference in Auckland on Tuesday that he could see the Australian facing Pacquiao (W 59, 38 KOs, L6, D2) towards the end of 2017.
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"Manny has told me that he wants two fights next year and we are looking at Jeff for the second bout. If Jeff can win well on Saturday night I would then like him to face one of my former world champs, either Timothy Bradley or Jessie Vargas to build up the bout.
"I have heard great things about Jeff and we want to see on Saturday if he is ready for the best in the division or if he still needs a little seasoning."
The 28-year-old Horn said to face the Filipino legend Pacquiao would be "a dream come true".
"Ten years ago I didn’t even know how to throw a punch properly," said Horn. "I was getting bullied by kids from high school.
"I took up boxing just for self-defence and I didn’t even know if I would ever get to meet someone like Bob Arum.
"Now here we are talking about me fighting one of the greatest boxers of all time."