In a somewhat surprising announcement, Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan have reportedly agreed to terms for a welterweight title fight on April 23rd in the UAE. The news broke when Pacquiao announced via his twitter account that the fight was agreed to and Khan followed up with his own tweet minutes later.
Pacquiao was tentatively scheduled to fight in Australia against little known Jeff Horn who just recently signed with Top Rank. Pacquiao and his advisor said they preferred a fight in the UAE as big money was apparently being offered, though these reports have surfaced for the better part of five years. Skeptically, Top Rank boss Bob Arum said he’d believe it when he saw it (the money).
Khan hasn’t fought since he was KO’d last year against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas and had told fans and outlets he preferred a tune-up bout before fighting the likes of Kell Brook, the IBF champ and countryman of Khan. With Khan having a Muslim background, it appealed to the financial backers to have him be the opponent of Pacquiao while he had additionally won a fan poll that Pacquiao creates asking the public who he should face next. It seems everyone is getting what they want.
Khan rarely fights more than once a year and hasn’t shown the promise he once showcased early in his career. He’s been only looking for the biggest prize fights to cash in on while Pacquiao is in the process of cashing out due to his older age and growing responsibilities as a Senator in the Philippines.
The fight could get interesting as Khan has some of that speed left he was known for when he was a light welterweight title holder and Pacquiao still demonstrates a high boxing IQ inside the ring as it was on full display when he outpounted Jessie Vargas last November when he recaptured the WBO title. Khan use to be the former sparring partner of Pacquiao when they shared the same coach Freddie Roach, who’s still with Pacquiao. There will be No Sparring between these two on April 23rd in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi