Top Rank CEO and promoter Bob Arum told The Telegraph on Aug. 11 he's eyeing Amir Khan as Manny Pacquiao's next opponent. The fight might take place in the Middle East.
Could Amir Khan be Manny Pacquiao's next opponent?
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Top Rank CEO Bob Arum will meet with Khan's camp in London to discuss the possibility this weekend. The Telegraph's Gareth A. Davies reported on the development on Aug. 11.
Khan is the current WBC Silver Welterweight titlist. He could find solace in facing Pacquiao. Khan is disappointed because he is unable to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr., per Davies.
Mayweather will take on Andre Berto on Sept. 12 instead, per The Telegraph.
Arum labeled that fight "a farce."
"That's a farce," Arum told Davies. "Mayweather should have fought Khan next. It would have been an interesting fight."
He remained confident he can arrange a Khan vs. Pacquiao fight, per The Telegraph:
"This kid Amir Khan keeps shooting his mouth off about Manny Pacquiao. I can arrange for Khan to fight Pacquiao.
"Amir Khan has been begging Mayweather for a fight and now he can get a major fight. I'm not a hard guy to deal with. I'm not going to mess them around.
"One thing's for sure, Pacquiao is not ducking Khan. Pacquiao will fight him. I don't know if Khan will fight Pacquiao, but it's available."
Arum confirmed Pacquiao will not fight this year anymore. The proposed fight against Khan might take place early next year in the Middle East, per Davies:
"Manny's not going to fight this year.
"He'll fight early next year and probably in the Middle East. It won't be in Dubai but it will be in the Middle East. If not, we'll do it in Vegas.
"There's two different groups in the Middle East (wanting to host the fight). I'd like to do Pacquiao against Amir Khan but they'll take Manny against any decent guy."
The Top Rank CEO believes Pacquiao will beat Khan, per The Telegraph:
"It's a good fight. Manny beats him, though, in my opinion. Manny is getting up in age, so you never know what's going to happen. But I think he hits too hard for Khan.
"We're not dangling (an offer for Khan like Mayweather did). I want to go in and make a deal with the guy. I'm happy to have lunch with them and discuss the situation."
Arum confirmed to Davies that Pacquiao is in tip-top shape. Pacquiao is on the verge of turning 37 years old:
"He's over in Japan right now trying to get a basketball tournament for the Philippines. He seems like he's fine, though, physically.
"The doctor here was amazed when he saw pictures of his movement and everything.
"The doctor says he's got to see it himself. Manny is promising to come here at the end of August. There's no question he'll fight again."
According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Khan "has been dying to fight Mayweather." Even Mayweather himself admitted Khan was the top candidate to be his next opponent.
Mayweather's repeated snubs of Khan has made headlines.
Last year, Mayweather asked his fans online who he should fight next. More than 35 thousand people voted. Fifty-seven percent voted for Khan. However, Mayweather decided to fight Marcos Maidana instead, per Rafael.
After Mayweather beat Maidana, he settled for a rematch with him, per ESPN.
Khan was the next resort in case Mayweather's bout against Pacquiao didn't materialize. Rafael confirmed the information.
Khan spoke up after Mayweather repeatedly ignored him, per Rafael:
"I'm disappointed not to have got the fight for what is the third time after having been one of the frontrunners. However, there are many big fights out there for me and I'm going ton continue working hard to establish myself at the top of the welterweight division."
Berto is 3-3 in his last six fights. Khan has won five straight fights. Among those he beat were Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri. He has a 31-3 record with 19 knockouts.
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