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Team Pacquiao’s focus is again on Brisbane

Manny Pacquiao’s camp acknowledged yesterday that a deal is almost in place for the fighting Filipino senator to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against unbeaten Australian challenger Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane.

“We are working on it,” said Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz in a phone call from General Santos City.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum had issued an ultimatum two days ago and a story was carried by the Bulletin, asking Pacquiao (59-6-2 with 38 KOs) to decide in 48 hours if he is engrossed in facing Horn (16-0-1 with 11 KOs) or face the risk of not getting a fight until November.

Last time Pacquiao was in the ring was against Jessie Vargas in November last year in Las Vegas.

“I’ll have something in a few days,” said the 85-year-old Arum.

Arum had originally wanted the fight to take place on April 23 but Pacquiao and Koncz had different plans with the United Arab Emirates as alternate venue.

But the UAE could not deliver and negotiations fell apart, something Arum had earlier feared as it could not be determined where the mouth-watering $38-million purse would come from.