MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank boss Bob Arum said reports that Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan have agreed to terms for a fight are false, calling the stories "total and complete bullshit."
The Times of London reported it on Tuesday, February 21, saying that Pacquiao and Khan were "set" to fight on May 20, either in Khan's hometown of Bolton, England or Manchester, but cited no sources for its claims.
Arum spoke with the Courier-Mail of Australia, saying that the "story has come out of nowhere." Arum had been negotiating a fight between Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) and Australia's Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) for April 23 in Horn's hometown of Brisbane but said the fight was "up in the air" as Pacquiao pursues a deal to stage his next fight in the United Arab Emirates.
Pacquiao broke with tradition last week, announcing personally on his Twitter account that the fight would take place in the UAE, and holding a poll to ask fans whom they preferred to see him fight next. 48% of the poll's nearly 45,000 respondents chose Khan, while just 7% picked Horn. (READ: Making Pacquiao great again)
"What's happening is that Manny is talking to these people in Dubai who have offered him an insane amount of money," Arum said.
"Whether (the offer) is real or not real – he is determined to explore it to see if it has any validity. That's all I can say."
Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz texted this reporter on Tuesday afternoon to also quash the report of the Times of London.
Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight titleholder, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas in November while Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) hasn't fought since being knocked out in 6 rounds by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last May.
Khan had trained alongside Pacquiao during his time under the tutelage of Freddie Roach from 2009 to 2012, and since then rumors of them both fighting have been frequently raised. – Rappler.com