Manny Pacquiao won’t be fighting again in 2015, as he recovers from the surgery he underwent to repair his torn rotator cuff. But the welterweight is looking to make a return to the ring in 2016, and Amir Khan believes he has a good chance to be his next opponent.
Khan has been looking to fight either Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather for a while, and it appears that he will miss out on his chance to face the boxer that beat PacMan on May 2. Mayweather has balked at a rematch with the Filipino icon, despite the record windfall for both boxers, which opens the door for Khan to take on Pacquaio, the world’s No.2 welterweight.
“There have been talks of an Amir Khan fight in Dubai for many years now,” Khan told The National. “Everyone knows my position: I am ready to fight if they are serious about it. Bob Arum has contacted my team to fight Manny Pacquiao around March or April in Dubai. Let’s see how that develops.
“Since Floyd is running scared, I want Pacquiao in 2016 when he is back from his injury; 2016 will be Amir Khan’s year; you will see me in two of the biggest fights in that year.”
A lot can happen over the next few months, and Khan’s statements don’t necessarily mean a fight is likely. Khan previously said that Al Haymon, Mayweather’s promoter, told him that the undefeated boxer wanted a fight with him. A bout between Mayweather and Khan never materialized, and the world’s top boxer will instead face Andre Berto on Sept. 12 in what could be the last fight of his career.
But a fight between Pacquiao and Khan is certainly possible. Since a rematch with Mayweather seems to be off the table and Pacquiao’s already faced Timothy Bradley twice, Khan might be the most logical opponent for him.
If Khan doesn’t fight Pacquiao in the first half of 2016, he could be in line to face fellow Brit Kell Brook. Khan turned down a fight with Brook earlier this year, instead choosing to fight Chris Algieri. In June, Khan claimed that he was looking to fight a bigger name than Brook, but the winner of five consecutive fights has spoken with Eddie Hearn, Brooks promoter, about a potential bout.
“Eddie sent me a text and I invited him to Bolton,” Khan said. “We had a meeting at my office and we discussed everything for a potential fight against Kell Brook in 2016.
“I have made it clear to Eddie that I want this fight to be a big fight worldwide, not just in the UK. I told him Kell needs to fight a couple of big names and beat them, obviously. That will make our fight even bigger.”
Brook defeated Frankie Gavin in May to defend the IBF title and improve his record to 35-0. Khan beat Algieri one day before Brook won his fight.
It's also possible that Pacquiao and Brook could square off in 2016. Camps for the two boxers reportedly had informal discussions just prior to Pacquiao's surgery.