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Khan wants Pacquiao or Danny Garcia next in January


By Chris Williams: Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 10 KOs) says he’s interested in fighting either Manny Pacquiao or Danny Garcia for his next fight in January, 2017. Khan, 29, is the mandatory challenger to Danny Garcia’s WBC welterweight title. Khan would like to take that fight in January or a fight against Filipino star Manny Pacquiao. However, Khan isn’t sure if Pacquiao’s 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum would let him get a crack at Pacquiao at this point.

Indeed, Arum seems more interested in keeping Pacquiao’s next two fights in house with him fighting either WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford or WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas next. It’s very likely that whichever one of those fighters that doesn’t get the fight against Pacquiao this time around for his November 5 fight, will be facing him in his next fight after that if he chooses to continue his career after November.

Arum promotes both Crawford and Vargas, so there’s a chance that he’ll match Pacquiao against both of those guys back to back. Having them fight Pacquiao before he retires for good will likely increase their value to Top Rank by making them more popular due to the visibility they’ll get from those fights. The only way it could work against Arum and those fighters is if Pacquiao beats them as badly as he did the Top Rank promoted Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley.

“There are talks about Manny but Bob Arum doesn’t want to make that fight,” said Khan to Sports360. “I’ve got two options Danny Garcia and Manny Pacquiao…He [Arum] knows what would happen in that fight [against Pacquiao]. It’s a big fight which fans would want to see but I think he is looking for every excuse not to make it. I think he’s scared and it’s also because I’m not with Bob Arum, I’m with a different team, I’m with Al Haymon,” said Khan.

I seriously doubt that Khan will get a crack at Pacquiao. If Khan was going to get a shot at Pacquiao, he would have been given the option by Arum last April when the choices were Tim Bradley, Khan and Terence Crawford. Khan was easily the best option Pacquiao had for that fight in terms of the ability to bring in pay-per-view buys. However, instead of Khan getting the fight, Pacquiao wound up fighting the Bradley last April. Not surprisingly, the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight did poor PPV numbers.

It’s unclear why Arum made the move in matching Pacquiao against Bradley for a third time because there was no interest from the boxing public in a third fight between the two Top Rank promoted fighters.

It’s likely that Arum will choose to match Pacquiao against either Jessie Vargas for his November 5 fight or Crawford. Whichever of the two doesn’t get a fight against him in November will likely face him early next year if Pacquiao doesn’t retire? The way I see it is that Arum will match Pacquiao in the winnable fight against Vargas next and then put him in with Crawford in the first quarter of 2017.

Khan needs a winnable fight right now because he’s coming off of a bad knockout loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez last May. Khan was knocked out in the 6th round. Danny Garcia would be perfect for Khan, as would Pacquiao if he could get that fight. Garcia is a fight that can be made. Pacquiao is not a realistic option for Khan.

The reason why I think Arum will do it that way is because it increases the chance that both of his Top Rank fighters Crawford and Vargas will get fights against Pacquiao instead of just one of them. This in turn will likely increase their value to his Top Rank stable by them getting a lot of visibility in those fights. Pacquiao would have a much better chance of beating Vargas than he would against Crawford. it’s not that Crawford is a great fighter. He’s a runner and the running type of fighters always gives Pacquiao problems.

If Pacquiao beats Vargas next, then Arum can go ahead and match Pacquiao against Crawford next year. If Pacqiuiao wins that fight too, then I see Arum starting with the rematch cycle with him putting Pacquiao back in with Crawford for a second fight. It would be up to Pacquiao if he wanted out of the rematch cycle. I do not see Arum giving Khan a chance at fighting Pacquiao. With Pacquiao down to his last one to three fights in his career, I see Arum making sure that all of his fights are against his own Top Rank fighters, even if it means fewer PPV buys and less money. I think Arum would make an exception to this if someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed interest in coming out of retirement and fighting Pacquiao in a rematch. There would be so much loot in that fight that it would be worth it for Arum to match Pacquiao against a non-Top Rank fighter. I don’t think Arum would agree to let Pacquiao fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, even though it would likely bring in a massive amount of PPV buys. I see Arum keeping Pacquiao with his own Top Rank guys. This means that guys like Khan and Canelo can probably forget about getting a shot at Pacquiao.

“I’m mandatory for Garcia’s belt so that it is a big fight for me right there. I won’t be able to do September (Garcia’s slated ring return) but hopefully I will be okay for January,” said Khan.

Khan needs to keep his feet on the ground and focus on the title shot against WBC champion Danny Garcia. That’s a fight that he can realistically get. He’s probably wasting his time thinking about a fight against Pacquiao because I don’t think Arum will let him get that fight. Even if Khan did get the fight, I doubt that the money would be as much as he’d get for him fighting other guys. Danny Garcia reportedly turned down a $4 million offer to fight Pacquiao. If that’s all that Garcia was offered for the Pacquiao fight, then I can’t see Khan getting more than that.

Khan would be better off fighting Kell Brook or Garcia. The Garcia fight is a good one for Khan, because if he fights smart, then he can beat Garcia by a decision and capture his WBC title. Khan can then fight unification fights against the likes of Keith Thurman or Brook. I don’t think Arum will let Khan fight for the WBO title against Vargas or whoever has the WBO belt after he loses it to one of his other Top Rank fighters.

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