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Pacquiao came close to battling Khan, still wants to fight in UK

Amir Khan Manny Pacquiao

By Charles Brun: Manny Pacquiao reveals that he came close to fighting Amir Khan years ago, but the match didn’t get made. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) isn’t saying when the two planned on fighting or why the contest didn’t happen.

The Filpino says he won’t say what happened to sink the negotiations, but it’s easy for fans to conclude why the match didn’t happen.

Pacquiao and Khan had shared the same trainer in Freddie Roach, and they had sparred with one another. Many boxing fans had remarked that Khan had given Pacquiao some problems in their sparring sessions with his speed.

Of course, that sparring and there’s no way of knowing how Khan would have done in a real fight against Pacquiao 10+ years ago.

However, there’s no real loss for Pacquiao, as Khan’s career quickly imploded in 2011 after losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in back-to-back fights. After 2012, it was pointless for Pacquiao to fight Khan, as his career sunk into oblivion.

“Almost close to have that fight [with Khan], but there was a problem about something. I will not disclose it,” said Pacquiao to Sky Sports.

“I hope that one day I could have a fight there,” Pacquiao said on wanting to fight in the United Kingdom. “I’m hoping that one fight in the UK.”

Pacquiao isn’t saying WHO he would fight if he were to compete in the UK, but at this point, British welterweight Conor Benn would be his only real option.

Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) is the son of the popular British boxing great Nigel Benn, although he’s not as talented as his father, he’s got decent skills, and he’s a real big self-promoter. You can argue, Nigel wasn’t on the level of Conor in terms of his ability to brag.

What started initially as confidence-builders for Khan to regain his bearings after his losses to Peterson and Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia became a norm, as Amir never went back to fighting quality opposition, aside from an ill-advised fight with Canelo Alvarez in 2016.

Khan was viciously knocked out in the fifth round by Canelo. Other than one fight, Khan has fought largely lower-level opposition since his loss to Danny in 2012.

That loss for Khan basically destroyed his career for all intents and purposes, as he stopped fighting the best after that fight aside from the one fight with Canelo.

Why else would Pacquiao walk away from a slam dunk knockout win over Khan (34-5, 21 KOs).

Pacquiao did take on the popular British fighter Ricky Hatton in May 2019, blasting him out in two rounds, but that contest took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, rather than in the United Kingdom.

Hatton was arguably a MUCH bigger star in the UK than Khan, so it was a no-brainer for Pacquiao to fight him.

Unfortunately for Hatton, he was totally massacred by Pacquiao and left on the canvas flat on his back after getting caught by a massive shot from the Filipino star in the second round.

Pacquiao will be challenging WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas this Saturday night, August 14th, in the main event on FOX Sports PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s an important fight for the 42-year-old Pacquiao as if he loses; he’s likely to retire from boxing. He had previously been scheduled to challenge IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Errol Spence Jr, but the American pulled out of the fight last week after suffering an injured left eye during a sparring session.

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