Aussie fighter not buying into Pacquiao mind games

PERTH, Australia – Australian undefeated welterweight contender Jeff Horn was on television on Valentine’s Day and spoke his heart out.

“I’m not rattled by what Pacquiao is saying,’’ said the 29 years old fighting schoolteacher from Brisbane in an interview with Fox Sports here.

Horn had just wrapped up a three-day tour of North Queensland to promote the proposed world title challenge.

“I think Pacquiao is just trying to show everyone that he’s the boss and that no one can tell him what to do.’’

However, the Brisbane bomber said he won’t be taken into the mind games of the eight-division world champion.

Pacquiao earlier announced he will start training immediately for his next fight but is standing firm on the bout being held in the United Arab Emirates and not Suncorp Stadium.

Pacquiao categorically stated that he is fighting Horn in the UAE. “We are really going to fight in the UAE by April,’’ Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao told the media on Wednesday that negotiations were still in progress and that even if Horn was the next challenger for his WBO welterweight title he would not be fighting in Horn’s home city of Brisbane.

At the same time, the fighting Senator also made public results of a poll for his next fight which showed former stablemate Amir Khan topping the list that included Horn. Almost half of 44,000 respondents chose Britain’s former world champ Khan.

With the confusion over the Pacquiao-Horn fight, Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council’s preparations and pledge of millions to host the fight at Suncorp could go to naught.

Australian promoters Duco Events have planned a boxing extravaganza at Suncorp on April 23 to be televised to a potential audience of a billion people in 159 countries.

However, Duco Events said they are continuing with their Suncorp plan, confident that despite Pacquiao’s statements their proposal will eventually win the champion’s approval.

By contrast, major government sports bodies in the emirates are yet to support the multimillion-dollar fight but Pacquiao says he has many Filipino fans in Dubai.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, who has been in the business since staging Muhammad Ali fights in 1966, has been negotiating for weeks with Duco Events.

But Pacquiao seems unconcerned by all that and more concerned with showing that he calls all the shots over his fights.