MANILA, Philippines – The promoter of Manny Pacquiao says Amir Khan won't be his next opponent as the money to bring the fight to the United Arab Emirates was nothing but a mirage.
"[Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz] is on his way back to meet with Manny but it's kaddish (a Jewish prayer for the dead) for the UAE deal. It's dead," Top Rank boss Bob Arum tells ESPN. "I'm talking to him about another proposal for another fight, not Khan. Khan won't be Manny's next opponent."
An email to Koncz seeking comment was not answered by the time of this story's publication.
The Khan fight came into the picture after Arum had already negotiated a deal to match Pacquiao with Australian Jeff Horn on April 23, but Pacquiao balked at the fight, electing instead to chase an offer reportedly worth $38 million from unnamed investors in the UAE.
“When they contacted me, I told them it was pie in the sky, that this is crazy, it’s not going to happen,” Arum told LATimes.com. “Manny wanted to roll the dice. He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes.
“If something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.”
Pacquiao had said he had never heard of Horn, an unbeaten yet unknown fighter outside of his country, and held a poll on his Twitter account asking fans who they wanted to see the Filipino senator fight next. 48% of respondents picked Khan while just 7% picked Horn.
Both Pacquiao and Khan had announced on their social media accounts that they'd reached an agreement, but Arum cautioned that the announcement was "premature."
The delay took an April 23 date off the table, and a proposed May 19 date also looked iffy. Arum, who remained skeptical of the deal from the start, had later said that a Pacquiao-Khan fight would have to wait until November.
Arum now says Pacquiao's next fight could happen in either June or July. The Philippine Senate is in recess from June 3 to July 23. - Rappler.com