Amir Khan still believes Pacquiao fight will happen
By Jim Dower: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said on Tuesday that the Amir Khan fight is dead and not happening for the Filipino star’s next fight. Arum says the $38 million offer made by investors in the UAE didn’t materialize for a fight between Pacquiao and Khan in the United Arab Emirates. Arum said that he’s going to move Pacquiao in another direction against someone else for his next fight.
However, Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) is not giving up on the fight. He believes the Pacquiao fight can happen on May 20 despite the 85-year-old Arum saying it’s “dead.” What’s not known is whether Arum is moving away from the Khan fight too quickly. Khan was an a possible opponent for Pacquiao a year ago, but Arum matched him against one of his own fighters in Tim Bradley.
Arum says he has other options that he’s going to have Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) consider for his next fight. The final choice will be up to Pacquiao and his adviser Michael Koncz to decide.
“They are still confident of the fight happening,” the source said to ESPN.com. “If it is going to happen, something will happen [be agreed] in the next couple days. There are a group of people with businesses in the U.K. who Amir knows well, and they are handling the negotiations for the Pacquiao fight for him.”
Arum is going to move quickly to get Pacquiao’s next fight agreed on and signed. If Khan and his management aren’t quick in finding the money for the fight, then there’s a pretty good chance that Arum will have already found someone for him to fight. It’s a race against time for Khan and his management. If Arum can get Pacquiao to agree to one of his options for his next fight, then Khan will have lost out on the fight. There might be a possibility for Khan to get a fight against Pacquiao later on in November, but it would depend on his schedule and whether Arum has someone else in mind for him to fight.
“They are still confident that it can materialize,” the source said. “They think the money in the UAE is not an issue. There are people in the UAE keen to have the fight on.”
Before Khan was an option for Pacquiao, Arum was looking to make a fight between him and one of his own fighters that he co-promotes in Jeff Horn. There was an offer on the table for that fight, and Arum was hoping to stage it in Horn’s home city of Brisbane, Australia.
It would be a disappointment for many boxing fans if Pacquiao ends up fighting Jeff Horn rather than a better known fighter. Horn seems to be a skilled guy, but he’s been knocked down in his last two fights by older fighters in Ali Funeka and Randall Bailey. Further, Horn is not a fighter that is known worldwide to the boxing public. He’s known to Australians, but he’s not someone that will add to Pacquiao’s legacy.