Pacquiao, Khan agree to terms for April 23 fight
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan have reached an agreement to fight on April 23, both men revealed on their Twitter accounts on Sunday, February 26.
"Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted," writes Pacquiao, referring to a fan poll where 48% of the nearly 45,000 respondents preferred Khan (31-4, 19 knockouts) over 3 other options. Jeff Horn, who was long considered the frontrunner to face Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), received just 7% of the votes.
The fight between two long-time gym mates will likely take place in the United Arab Emirates, where Pacquiao has said his next fight would take place, though details have yet to be divulged.
Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz confirmed the fight to Rappler via text, saying the fight will take place in the United Arab Emirates but said no venue had been settled on, and that the fight will be on pay-per-view.
Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao under the Top Rank banner, told the Courier-Mail that Pacquiao was offered “an insane amount of money” to consider fighting in the UAE instead of facing Horn in Australia in a deal Arum had negotiated with New Zealand-based Duco Events. Arum remained skeptical of the offer’s validity, telling ESPN in a report published on February 23 “If it's real, we will assist putting on the event, but I am not holding my breath and I'm not making plane reservations.”
Khan, 30, of Bolton, England competed at the 2004 Olympics, earning silver before turning pro the following year. Khan was a unified junior welterweight titleholder with notable wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah. Three of his losses have come by knockout, including his last fight in June when he was knocked out in 6 rounds by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a middleweight fight.
"My team an (sic) I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight," Khan tweeted out.
Pacquiao, 38, of General Santos City, Philippines has won two straight since a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2015, taking the WBO welterweight title from Jessie Vargas last November.
Pacquiao and Khan both trained together under Freddie Roach from 2009-2012 at the Wild Card Gym and in the Philippines and had sparred a number of rounds together.
Roach has characterized the sparring as "tit-for-tat," but in 2014 said it'd be "no big fight," adding that "Pacquiao knocked him out in the gym" and had dropped him "at least 4 times." – Rappler.com