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Amir Khan wants Manny Pacquiao fight in Qatar

Amir Khan Manny Pacquiao

By Jeff Aronow: Amir Khan is still hoping to face Manny Pacquiao once the sport comes back after the pandemic ends. Khan (34-5, 21 K.O.s) wants to stage the fight against WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 K.O.s) in Qatar, if possible. However, Khan will likely have the fans on his side if the match with Manny does take place in Qatar, and the Filipino star may not want to deal with that.

Pacquiao, 41, would be the A-side in the negotiations, and he might not like the idea of putting himself in a situation where he could wind up on the receiving end of another controversial decision.

With the horrible experience that Manny had in losing a HIGHLY controversial decision to Australian Jeff Horn in 2017 in Brisbane, he may not be in a hurry to take the risk of losing to Khan in Qatar if he’s unable to knock him out. Who could blame Pacquiao for not agreeing to that? Even if the money is good, Pacquiao doesn’t want to lose again.

Khan still hoping to fight Pacquiao

“I want to fight against Manny Pacquiao, he’s the champion,” said Khan to beIN Sports. “I want to reach the level that I can fight against anyone without fearing anything.”

“Why don’t Qatar host the event, as it’s already prepared for the 2022 World Cup? I love Qatar, and I loved my last stay there.”

It’s a little bit of an overreach on Khan’s part for him to be not only asking Pacquiao for a fight but also suggesting where it should take place. Currently, Khan isn’t in the position to dictate where a fight with Pacquiao should take place. He should just hope that Pacquiao will throw him a bone by giving him the match. It’s off-putting for A-side fighters to see their B-side opponents trying to dictate things

Amir Khan Manny Pacquiao

What does Pacquiao gain in fighting Khan?

Pros

  • Will have an opponent that is well known in the U.S., and U.K. Khan is popular in the United Kingdom, and he’s also someone that many American boxing fans are familiar with. Up until recently, Khan had invested the last eight years of career in fighting in the U.S. to build himself into s star in that country
  • The fast hands and flashy style of Khan will make for an exciting fight for Pacquiao
  • Khan’s tendency to brawl is the perfect style for Pacquiao, who does well against fighters that come to fight. Pacquiao wouldn’t need to worry about Khan running away from him or switching to southpaw like he would if he fought Terence Crawford. Khan isn’t a counter puncher like Crawford, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao had problems with Marquez’s and Mayweather’s counter-punching ability
  • Beating Khan will allow Pacquiao to finally quiet him down, as he’s been calling him out for the last nine years of his career. Pacquiao had a poll created back in 2017, asking his boxing fans to pick his next opponent. When they decided that they wanted him to fight Khan, Pacquiao’s promoters at Top Rank chose instead to put him in with Jeff Horn. That turned out to be a bad idea on their part. Pacquiao got roughed up by Horn and lost a controversial decision. When Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expired, he moved on. Would he have stayed if Top Rank had matched him against Khan instead of Horn? It’s possible.

Cons

  • Pacquiao won’t receive credit for beating Khan, and he’ll be widely criticized when the fight is announced.
  • Going from Keith Thurman to Khan is a BIG step down for Pacquiao. That could make it difficult for Pacquiao to get motivated for the fight.
  • Pacquiao vs. Khan isn’t a pay-per-view worthy fight. So if they try and sell this fight on PPV in the U.S., it could be a disaster. There are fighters that Pacquiao can face on PPV during better times, but Khan isn’t a big enough name to motivate fans to want to pay to see them. You can say the same about Mikey Garcia. He’s not a big enough name for Pacquiao to fight on pay-per-view in 2020 or 2021.

Would Pacquiao fight Khan in the U.K.?

It’s not a good idea for Pacquiao to fight Khan in the U.S., as there won’t be enough interest in the fight to sell tickets. That means that Pacquiao will need to fight Khan elsewhere.

Again, we could be looking at Pacquiao being seen as the visiting fighter against Khan if he faces him in the U.K. or the Middle East. Will Pacquiao agree to put himself at risk of losing another controversial decision? On the positive side, Pacquiao wouldn’t need to worry about being roughed up like he was by Horn in 2017 in Australia. Khan doesn’t fight like that.

The scoring potentially could be a problem for Pacquiao as the visitor against Khan, and who needs that? At this stage in Pacquiao’s career, he should be able to call the shots for where a fight is staged, and not have to worry about being robbed.

Pacquiao wanted an excellent opponent for when he returned, and he’s been getting chased by Mikey Garcia and Khan. I’m not sure that’s the type of opponent that the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao will be looking for when he gets back into the ring.

There’s more for Pacquiao to gain in fighting Spence, Keith Thurman, Crawford, or Danny Garcia. That’s not a knock on Khan and Mikey. It’s just the reality. Those guys are top fighters at 147 and are popular enough for Pacquiao to get credit, whether he wins or loses.

But against Khan and Mikey, Pacquiao will be in a lose-lose situation where he’s going to get dumped on no matter what happens.


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