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Arum doubts Pacquiao-Khan fight will happen

Amir Khan Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has serious doubts whether the money will be there for him to fight Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There’s been a large offer of $38 million for Pacquiao to fight in the UAE. Arum says that Jeff Horn is not the one the organizers want in the UAE.

They want Amir Khan for the fight. Arum says he’s not holding his breath that the $38 million materializes for Pacquiao. Arum does say that offer is a lot more than what Pacquiao would get in fighting Horn in Brisbane, Australia.

There have been rumors that Pacquiao would get $5 million for the Horn fight. If that’s an accurate number, it’s a tremendous drop off from what Pacquiao used to get. Why Pacquiao would even bother fighting someone in their hometown for a payday of that kind. There’s got to be better options out there for Pacquiao than Horn if the fight against Khan fails to take place.

“The money in Australia wasn’t anywhere near $38 million,” said Arum to “If the $38 million is real, it trumps the Australia deal. If it’s real, we will assist putting on the event, but I am not holding my breath, and I’m not making plane reservations,” said Arum.

Maybe the money will be there for Pacquiao to fight Khan. Even if it’s not there, Pacquiao should try and fight someone that the U.S boxing public wants to see him fight. I’m sorry, but Jeff Horn is not in demand. Why Arum even started to negotiate that fight is hard to understand. After the last two fights that Pacquiao was involved with in fighting Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley, you would think that Arum would want to change things up by matching him against a popular fighter for a change. But having Pacquiao fight Horn is like a downward step.

This would be Khan’s second big fight in a row. He fought Saul Canelo Alvarez last May on HBO PPV, and got a career high payday in that fight. If Khan can get the fight against Pacquiao, and then face Kell Brook later this year, he’d be doing really well with three big payday fights.

Even if Pacquiao vs. Khan doesn’t happen, it would still be good if someone else is found for Pacquiao to fight rather than having him burn up one of his last remaining fights of his boxing career facing Jeff Horn. Khan is a reasonable choice for Pacquiao to fight. Other than Khan, Pacquiao should be looking to fight the winner of the Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman or the Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. fights. Adrien Broner would be a good option for Pacquiao as well. I’m sure a lot of boxing fans in the U.S would like to see Pacquiao fight Broner, Garcia, Thurman, Spence or Brook.

Pacquiao created a 4-fighter poll on his social media account 2 weeks ago, asking the boxing fans to pick from these fighters for who they want him to fight next: Amir Khan, Terence Crawford, Jeff Horn and Kell Brook. Horn came in dead last in the poll, whereas Khan came in at No.1. What’s surprising is Crawford came in next to last at No.3. The fans DO NOT want to see Pacquiao fight Horn and surprisingly they’re not interested in seeing him fight Crawford either. Those two are Arum’s fighters. This means the boxing fans prefer to see Pacquiao fighting Khan or Brook rather than Horn or Crawford. I wonder if Pacquiao is going to end up fighting Horn and Crawford. If he listens to the fans, then those fights will never happen.
Arum says that Pacquiao’s next fight will be in April or June, but not in May, because he’ll be working in his senate job in the Philippines.

I’m not sure what Arum will do with his fighter Jeff Horn if he can’t get him a fight against Pacquiao. Arum can always throw Horn in the ring with his other Top Rank stable fighters like Tim Bradley, Jessie Vargas or Terence Crawford. I’m not sure that Horn’s popularity will increase by him fighting those guys, but at least Arum can keep him busy. I don’t see Horn being turned into a star even if he fights Pacquiao and beats him, but it would make him a bigger name in Australia. The top fighters in Australia make good money fighting on PPV over there, and a lot of times they’re fighting other Australian fighters.

“The Australian deal is not going to happen now because Manny is trying to get a fight done in the United Arab Emirates,” Arum said to “The people there favor him fighting Amir Khan.”

I wonder how Arum is taking the news of Pacquiao no longer fighting Horn? Is he disappointed?
I don’t know why Arum even bothered trying to match Pacquiao against Horn. What would a small fight like that do for Pacquiao? I know the fight would have helped make Horn more popular in Australia, but what would the fight do for Pacquiao? Would he have been taking one for the team in agreeing to fight Horn?

Why did Arum match Pacquiao against Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley in his last two fights rather than having him fight popular fighters? Was Pacquiao being a team player in those fights as well? If Pacquiao is going to do the leg work in setting up his biggest fights at this point in his career, then it’s kind of disappointing. You have to remember that Pacqiuiao was the one that helped make his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. become a reality by going to a basketball game where he was at and meeting with him to ask for the fight.

Would the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight have happened if not for Pacquiao making that move? I doubt it. Is Pacquiao going to have to be assertive to do the hard work of finding opposition for him to fight in his final fights of his career? Who does Arum match Pacquiao against if it’s up to him? Do we see Bradley trotted out again for Pacquiao to fight? Does Arum stick Pacquiao in with Horn, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko in order to increase their popularity?

For the boxing fans who don’t remember, Khan was in the picture for Pacquiao to fight last year for his fight in April. Instead, Arum went with Top Rank fighter Tim Bradley and the fight did poor in comparison to the two previous times that Pacquiao fought him. It was a crazy idea to have Pacquiao fight Bradley a third time. By far, Khan would have been the better option for Pacquiao to fight.

Golden Boy Promotions realized the potential of Khan fight their No.1 money fighter Saul Canelo Alvarez, because they signed him up for a Canelo-Khan fight last May, and the fight pulled in 600,000 buys on HBO. The U.S boxing public liked the fight. The fans did not like seeing Pacquiao fight Bradley for a third time. The fight brought in 300,000 buys. It’s too bad Pacquiao didn’t insist on fighting Khan in 2016 instead of Bradley or Vargas. Pacquiao likely would have made some good money from that fight.

“Whether it will happen or not I just don’t know because they have to come up with a large amount of money,” said Arum.

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