x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Amir Khan says of hoped-for Pacquiao fight: ‘I have pulled out of negotiations’

'All that was left to do is to sign the contract, but they are stalling' Amir Khan tells The National's Omar Al Raisi of a hoped-for fight with Manny Pacquiao, a Floyd Mayweather rematch 'a possible reason' he was snubbed.

Amir Khan has won six consecutive fights since his 2012 loss to Danny Garcia. Mike Young / The National
Amir Khan has won six consecutive fights since his 2012 loss to Danny Garcia. Mike Young / The National

Amir Khan says he has walked away from talks with Manny Pacquiao’s camp about a fight early next year as rumours swirled in the boxing world on Tuesday that the Filipino may instead be angling for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

That story has Mayweather, presumably retired, meeting Pacquiao again in an attempt to take his record to 50-0, one victory better than the legendary Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten mark.

The second half of the rumour has a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight coming in May, in Las Vegas, after the MGM Grand’s new arena has been launched.

Khan said his team and Pacquaio’s met in Doha last week to discuss a fight, now that the former eight-weight-division champion has been cleared for action following shoulder surgery, and the Briton of Pakistani origin thought a deal was close.

Read more: Omar Al Raisi speaks with Kell Brook, who bills a possible Amir Khan fight the ‘biggest in Britain’

“I’m really disappointed in Manny and his team,” Khan told The National. “They aren’t playing ball. All that was left to do is to sign the contract. But they are stalling.

“I have pulled out of the negotiations. I am no longer fighting Manny Pacquiao.”

It is another huge disappointment for Khan, who on three occasions was told he would be Mayweather’s next opponent. The American on each occasion chose to fight someone else.

“I am not going to wait around for Manny like I did for Mayweather,” Khan said. “I need to fight and if they don’t want to fight then that’s fine, I have other targets.”

Khan believes Pacquiao is being advised against fighting him, in part for competitive reasons.

“They know I am a tricky fight for him and they know I will beat him,” he said. “Or else, why pull out of a fight when there is a lot of money on the table?

“I don’t really know if Mayweather is fighting Pacquiao again. It is a possible reason for him to stall on signing the contract, but I don’t really know.”

Khan now shifts to other targets for what he hopes is a fight early next year.

“I already had a back-up plan drawn up in case the Pacquiao fight didn’t go to plan,” the Olympic medallist said. “We are looking at a Danny Garcia rematch. I also would like to fight Tim Bradley; that’s another interesting fight.

“A rematch with Lamont Peterson and, of course, Kell Brook is also another option.

“I am willing to fight anyone, but it seems not everyone is willing to fight me.”

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