Khan says Pacquiao signed for Nov.8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
By Trevor McIntyre: Amir Khan says he and WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao have signed to fight on November 8. Khan says the fight with Pacquiao will be taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This is the same place where Khan defeated former featherweight world champion Billy Dib last Friday night.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) will be facing Keith Thurman this Saturday night on Fox Sports pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada. Khan says it doesn’t matter if Pacquiao loses to Thurman. He believes their fight on November 8 will still take place.
Khan says the Saudi representatives want to bring him back to their country, and it’s too hard for him to turn the big money he’s being offered. For Khan’s recent mismatch against Dib, he received close to $9 million. The fight wasn’t remotely competitive.
Khan: Pacquiao has signed to fight on Nov.8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
“I think my next fight is going to be in November on the eighth. It’s going to be back in Riyadh,” said Khan to Boxing Social. “The opponent hasn’t been named yet, but obviously we’d love the Manny Pacquiao fight. We don’t want to be hoping that fights next. We also got backup plans. It’s been confirmed now; signed by both fighters now, me and Pacquiao. Pacquiao signed it as well. If he’s injured or something or says, ‘I’m retired’ after the [Keith Thurman] fight, then the [November 8] fights now going to happen. But he is interested in the fight as well,” said Khan.
It’s difficult not to believe that Khan is telling the truth here. There’s a lot of money for Pacquiao and Khan to make in Saudi Arabia, and it’s highly believable that there is a signed contract for the fight. Pacquiao, 40, will obviously go wherever the most money is. He wants Floyd Mayweather Jr. to come out of retirement to fight him, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. If Pacquiao gets past passed Thurman on Saturday, then his options are down to these fighters: Khan, Errol Spence, Shawn Porter or Terence Crawford. The easy money for Pacquiao is against Khan. All the remaining names are there for Manny are tough fighters that are still in their prime. Pacquiao might be able to beat some of them, but Spence and Crawford would be tough options for him at this point.
Khan hoping Pacquiao beats Thurman
“It’s been a long time that we’ve been chasing that fight [against Pacquiao],” said Khan. “Now it’s at the stage where we both signed up, and hopefully it’s going to be the next one. Hopefully, he comes out of it [Thurman fight] in one piece. It’s as hard fight as well. It’s not an easy fight for him. Hopefully, that fight comes off. If he wins on the weekend, it’s even bigger, and I’m sure that’s where we want to go. We’re both at our peak. I feel like it’s a great time to catch him with Manny getting a bit older. Boxing is about catching opponents at the right time, and I think it’s the right time for Manny Pacquiao right now,” Khan said.
Khan shouldn’t get his hopes up too much about Pacquiao beating Thurman. He’s facing a younger, bigger and stronger guy in 30-year-old Thurman. Moreover, Thurman likes to move around the ring a lot, and Pacquiao struggles against those type of fighters. Thurman is one of the most mobile guys that Pacquiao will have come up against, and it doesn’t look good for him. Assuming Pacquiao loses badly to Thurman, it’s going to put a damper on a Pacquiao-Khan fight on November 8. Perhaps the boxing fans in Saudi Arabia won’t mind still paying to see Khan and Pacquiao fight. The fans in the UK and the U.S won’t be nearly as interested in that fight if Manny loses to Thurman.
Khan says it was hard to turn down money to return to Saudi Arabia
“It’s a 50-50 fight, but I lean a little bit more towards Manny Pacquiao, because I think his speed and movement will cause a lot of problems for Keith,” said Khan. “Thurman is a good standstill fighter. If you walk onto him, he has a lot of power. I think with Manny doing all that movement, he has great footwork, he’ll cause a lot of problems. He’ll make Keith miss, and catch him with a lot of shots as well. I think it’ll go the distance. They want it back there [Riyadh] again. The last fight [Khan vs. Billy Dib] was a full sellout. They were really happy with the way it went, and they want it back over there. It’s very hard to turn down the big deals over there. That’s why we’re going back,” said Khan.
The 33-year-old Khan is finding a new revenue stream for his fights at this late stage of his career. Despite the fact that Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) is viewed by many boxing fans as a shot fighter, he’s found a new country that wants to see his fights. Just how long Khan will be able to get paid loads of money to fight in Saudi Arabia is unclear. Right now, Khan is still in the honeymoon stage of making money in that country. But if he starts losing again, things could change rapidly.
Amir has regained his confidence after beating Billy Dib
“I won the WBC International welterweight title, which puts me at top five in the rankings,” said Khan. “It’s good to be back in boxing. I’ll have to rise to the occasion. Obviously, Billy Dib isn’t Manny Pacquiao, but it just got me back to my winning ways again. It got my confidence back. Hopefully, once we’ve got the Manny Pacquiao fight, we’ll be more than ready for it. After this next fight, it can happen in the UK. One of my last fights in the UK will be in a stadium. This next fight will be in Saudi Arabia in November,” said Khan.
It’s easy to regain one’s confidence when you pick out an opponent that fights four divisions below you in Dib. The Australian fighter’s best years of his career were at featherweight. Khan fights at welterweight. It was always going to be mismatch. It would have been better for Khan to regain his self confidence by beating someone from the welterweight division instead of pooling his opponent from the featherweight class. A win for Khan over a top welterweight like Yordenis Ugas, Sergey Lipinets or Jessie Vargas would have done wonders for his self confidence.
Khan open to fighting Kell Brook after Pacquiao match
“I don’t know if he’s retired. I don’t know what’s going on,” said Khan about Kell Brook. “He’s waiting for a big fight. I hope after this fight [Pacquiao], if he’s sitting around, that would be amazing. I know there’s been a lot of talk about it. I don’t know where he’s going with his career. Someone said he’s retired,” said Khan.
It’s a waste of time for Khan to fight Kell Brook now. Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) hasn’t fought in seven months since his win over Michael Zerafa, and he looks like he’s just waiting to cash out. Kell hasn’t had a serious fight in two years since his loss to Errol Spence Jr. in 2017. Even though Brook is technically still fighting, he looks like he’s retired from fighting world class opposition.
Dillian Whyte beats Oscar Rivas says Khan
“I like Dillian [Whyte] in that one,” said Khan about this Saturday’s fight between Whyte and Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena in London. “I think Dillian is a really strong fighter. He hits very, very hard. If he catches Rivas early, who is the smaller guy in this fight, I think he’ll put him away. Rivas is a complete fighter as well. He’s a good name to have. I think it’s going to be a tough fight for the both of them,” said Khan.
Heavyweight Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) is fighting Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs) this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England. The interim WBC heavyweight title will be on the line for this one. Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing says the World Boxing Council’s resolution for Whyte is that he’s going to be the mandatory for WBC champion Deontay Wilder if he beats Rivas. Wilder will have until May 18 to defend against him. If Rivas beats Whyte, Hearn is going to be out of luck. All the wasted time that Whyte put into going after a title shot against Wilder will have been for nothing. Whyte should have taken the title shot against former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Khan predicts David Price beats Dave Allen
“I like David Price, because I’ve known him for a long time,” said Khan in discussing the Dave Allen vs. Price fight. “He won his last fight [against Kash Ali]. He looked decent in his last fight. Obviously, he wants to get his confidence back again. He’s up there as one of the top heavyweights in Britain. I think he’ll [Price] pull it off, and put in a great performance. If he wins, it, I think it’ll put him in a good position to go for a world title fight,” said Khan.
British heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) has a tough fight on his hands against domestic level slugger Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) this Saturday night on the Whyte-Rivas undercard. Price, 35, isn’t willing to admit it, but his career is on the line for all intents and purposes. If he loses this fight, it’s the end of the road for him. Thus far, Price has been losing to contenders in the top 15 at the world level. But, getting beaten by Allen would be a crushing blow to the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Price’s career.
Manny Pacquiao Promotions rep Sean Gibbons doesn’t refute what Khan is saying
“At this time Senator Pacquiao has one fight on his mind and that is July 20th vs Keith Thurman,” said MP Promotions representative Sean Gibbons to Michael Benson when asked if Manny will be fighting Khan on November 8. “After July 20th, the Senator will look at all options for his next fight.”