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Khan still desired opponent for Pacquiao, says Arum

Amir Khan Juan Manuel Marquez Manny Pacquiao Bob Arum Pacquiao vs. Khan Pacquiao-KhanBy Chris Williams: It looks like Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) is still the leading candidate to get the fight against Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) for the Filipino fighter’s first fight back from a shoulder injury in the first quarter of next year.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum says Pacquiao is still the lead guy that he’s interested in matching against Pacquiao for this fight. However, Arum also says he’s interested in matching Pacquiao against 42-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez. You can bet that Arum would scrap the idea of matching Pacquiao against Khan if he can get Marquez to agree to another fight against the 36-year-old Pacquiao.

The money would likely be a lot better for Arum and Pacquiao if he could get Marquez to take the fight in early 2016 than Khan. It wouldn’t be just a break even fight for Top Rank. Arum could get his beak wet with the money they’d make if he could get Marquez back in the ring with Pacquiao for one last farewell fight.

Marquez has had knee problems that have sidelined him since 2014, and the knee problem might still be there. But I could still see the fight taking place even with Marquez limping around the ring.

It would be like how Antonio Margarito took the fight with Miguel Cotto after having had three eye surgeries and no tune-up fights to test his eye to see if it would hold up to the pounding of a normal 12 round fight.

“Arum also said Amir King Khan is still desired Manny opponent for return in Feb/March/April 2016. Matthysse, Crawford also in mix he said,” Dan Rafael said on his Twitter.

The question you have to ask is whether Arum is on the level about Khan being the one that he really wants for Pacquiao, or is the 83-year-old promoter merely mentioning his name to throw off fans for the fighter that he really wants to put in the ring with Pacquiao in Terence Crawford? We’re going to find out in the coming months who Arum really wants for Pacquiao. But I would be very surprised if Khan is the guy that he wants to put in with him.

It’s better for Arum and Top Rank if he puts his own guy Crawford in with Pacquiao, because he’s one of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters. If not Crawford, then Marquez would be a far better choice for Pacquiao than Khan or any of the other fighters that Arum has been mentioning as being interested in matching against him.

Marquez can bring in the huge Hispanic population to purchase the fight on HBO pay-per-view. Khan can’t do this, and neither can Lucas Matthysse, Crawford or Kell Brook. Marquez might want a nice cut of the revenue though for him to agree to a fifth fight with Pacquiao.

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Marquez obviously knows the kind of PPV buys he can bring in with his fans, and he’s not going to let Pacquiao hog the money from the fans that he pools in for the fight. I don’t think Arum would ever agree to a 50-50 purse split if Marquez were to ask for that, even though Pacquiao would still likely make more money than he would if he fought Khan, Crawford, Brook or Matthysse.

“Talked to Arum today. Mentioned he’s going to talk to Fernando Beltran/JM Marquez about possible 5th fight with Manny. #boxing,” Rafael said.

Marquez might be willing to take the fight with Pacquiao, but I believe he’s going to want a bump up from the 76-24 purse split that he agreed to for the last fight against Pacquiao in 2012. If they give Marwuez a 60-40 or perhaps a 55-45 split of the loot, I think he might be agreeable to taking the fight with Pacquiao.

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It’s no big deal for Marquez if Pacquiao and Arum walk away from the negotiation table, because it’s not as if he has to avenge a knockout loss. It was Pacquiao who was knocked out in the 6th round by Marquez in 2012. Before that fight, Marquez was arguably robbed in the first three fights with Pacquiao after appearing to beat him in the minds of a lot of boxing fans. All Pacquiao would be doing by fighting Marquez a fifth would be trying to rightfully win his first fight of the series without controversy. If Arum and Pacquiao want Marquez, they’re likely going to have to sweeten the deal this time for him to agree to the fight.

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