It was first reported by Yahoo Sports last week that Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan would fight on May 19 (May 20 in the United Arab Emirates) for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
Now, the anticipated fight is dead.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the Los Angeles Times the fight is off and Pacquiao wouldn’t face Khan, if at all, until the end of 2017. Arum said he has given Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, a proposal to give to the eight-division world champion when he heads back to the Philippines on Tuesday. Arum also wanted to have Koncz let Pacquiao know the Khan fight wasn’t happening.
“That deal is done for now,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times. “[Pacquiao and Koncz] were talking to the wrong people.”
Arum originally made a bout for Pacquiao to face Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia on April 22. Pacquiao didn’t want to take the bout and went after an offer of $38 million from an unnamed investment group who wanted to bring him to UAE to fight Khan.
Arum didn’t think the offer was real and let his feelings be known to Pacquiao and Koncz. The latter announced the Khan fight last month on Pacquiao’s Twitter account. And now, it’s no longer happening, even though Arum said if the investment group in UAE could come up with the money they claimed they would, the fight could happen in November.
“When they contacted me, I told them it was pie in the sky, that this is crazy, it’s not going to happen,” Arum said. “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.”
The proposal Arum gave for Koncz to deliver to Pacquiao is for him to fight by July. He wouldn’t reveal who the opponent was as he wants his star fighter to look at it first.
“Koncz will meet with Manny, and if he accepts it, we’ll go ahead, Arum said. “If he doesn’t, there’s nothing we can do.”
The timeline given by Arum would depend on the 38-year-old Pacquiao’s schedule as a senator in the Philippines.
Currently, Pacquiao is on break from his senatorial duties as the government is in recess.