Manny Pacquiao is looking for an opponent in 2015, and he’s hoping to take on Floyd Mayweather in his next fight. While the entire boxing world is waiting for the best fighters of their generation to finally meet in the ring, Mayweather’s refusal to agree to the bout in recent years could have Pacquiao looking elsewhere.
If a fight with Mayweather if off the table, Amir Khan could be PacMan’s first choice. Pacquiao handily defeated Chris Algieri on Nov. 22, but the 30-year-old from Long Island wasn’t his first choice. According to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Amir Khan had the opportunity to fight for Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight Championship in November.
"After Pacquiao's second fight with Timothy Bradley [in April], I tried to see if Khan was interested in fighting Manny and if it was legally possible. The first guy I asked was Nick Khan, who is the agent of Freddie Roach and a friend of mine,” Arum told Telegraph Sport.
"He came back and said they (Khan's advisors) gave him the runaround. We were told: 'No way'. They have contractual commitments to others, which would prevent that fight from happening.' So I dropped it."
Khan is scheduled to fight Devon Alexander on Saturday in Las Vegas. His last bout was a victory over Luis Collazo on the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana I, giving the Brit three wins in a row.
If Pacquiao doesn’t take on Mayweather in his next bout, it might be the undefeated boxer that prevents him from getting his chance with Khan. Khan has been looking to get his shot at Mayweather since last year, when it appeared that the two would face off in May 2014. Mayweather ultimately chose to fight Marco Maidana, and Khan’s training schedule, because of Ramadan, didn’t allow him to fight Mayweather in September.
Khan told Telegraph Sport that he isn’t looking past Alexander, but he knows a win could put him in position to land a marquee pay-per-view fight.
“This fight can lead us both to a huge fight in the future between me and Mayweather or Pacquiao, so, it’s all about just being focused and sticking to the game plan,” Khan said.
Khan might be near the top of the list for both Pacquiao and Mayweather as a potential next opponent, but that won’t be the case if he doesn’t get a victory. Either way, the winner of the fight would prove to be a potential candidate for Pacquiao.
Alexander was defeated by Shawn Porter in December of last year, but he defeated Jesus Soto Karass in his most recent fight. Winning five of his last six fights, including victories over Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, Alexander would strengthen his resume even further with a win over Khan.
Since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in Dec. 2012, Pacquiao has returned with three straight unanimous decision victories. He would be favored to beat any opponent, other than Mayweather.