MANILA, Philippines – Will the Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan showdown happen? If it does, it won't be on April 23, says Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.
Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz had told Yahoo that the fight would take place in the United Arab Emirates on May 19 instead of the proposed date of April 23, which Arum had earmarked for a now-nixed fight between Pacquiao and unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn.
Arum told ESPN.com that talk of it being set to go is "all so premature" and "bullshit," adding that even pushing the fight back to May might not even be sufficient enough to make it push through.
"Manny is not going to fight in April. I don't even know if May is feasible. I haven't even talked to Manny. All it is right now is a discussion. It's like somebody saying, 'Hey, let's build a new stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas.' You can say anything, but we're a long way from it being done," Arum was quoted as saying.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) and Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) had previously tweeted that they'd reached an agreement for the fight. Arum said he did discuss several possibilities with Koncz on Tuesday, February 28, but that the fight between the former gym mates still depends on whether the UAE investors can produce the $38 million Arum said they're promising.
The fight must also work within the fighters' schedules. Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, tries to set his fights around his work schedule, with the Senate being in recess from March 18 to May 1 and the next recess coming from June 3 to July 23. Khan, a British-born Muslim of Pakistani descent, does not fight during Ramadan, which will be observed from May 27 to June 24.
"After I met with Koncz I realized everything was up in the air as far as the money [in the UAE]. They punted to me and said, 'Go find the money.' So far it hasn't surfaced," said Arum.
"This could all go away like the breeze. If you can find the money, if you can find that $38 million, I'll give you 10%, make it 20%. The point is a lot of these deals take time to put together, to find money and everything. We're not there." – Rappler.com