I think the crowd will be favouring Manny, says Pacquiao adviser

One of Manny Pacquiao’s key advisors has claimed the Brisbane crowd will support the Filipino great instead of local challenger Jeff Horn when the pair meet on July 2 for their WBO welterweight title fight at Suncorp Stadium.

Michael Koncz, a Canadian who has been by Pacquiao’s side for more than a decade as a business consultant and dealmaker, said Pacquiao’s popularity would see him deny Horn hometown advantage in Brisbane – despite Horn being born and bred in the Queensland capital.

It’s a suggestion sure to puzzle those already buying tickets to see if Horn can sting Pacquiao and upset the future hall of famer in front of what should be a record crowd of around 55,000 at the venue.

It’s even more baffling given that Pacquiao was handed a NSW jumper by Blues coach Laurie Daley in Sydney on Thursday morning. Koncz does his homework, but may not appreciate quite how unpopular those colours are north of the Tweed.

At 38 and still the biggest name in boxing despite his brief retirement, Pacquiao can command an audience anywhere he travels and Koncz said he was banking on that goodwill to ensure the crowd was on his side.

He also said Pacquiao had likely fought his final fight in America and would continue his handful of farewell fights around the world should the Brisbane event prove to be a success.

“We want to be ambassadors for boxing here. We don’t really plan on going back to America unless there’s a tremendous financial opportunity. Manny is one of the few boxers that can go from country to country,” Koncz said.

“And I don’t think there’s a hometown advantage here. We’ll see on July 2 – I think the crowd will be favouring Manny. It’s going to be a great experience not only for us but the city. The rest of the world will see that.

“I think we’ll get a lot of offers to go to different countries once they see how successful this fight is going to be.”

Koncz was the man chasing a bigger purse against Brit Amir Khan, which was the reason behind the original fight in April being postponed. He not only said that fight was still alive but could even be held in , potentially Sydney or Melbourne, if the Horn-Pacquiao fight was a success.

“It didn’t work out – it’s not dead. I have a deal in place with Amir, we’re still working on a venue. And who knows? If this event is successful maybe I’ll bring the Khan fight here in November.”

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