Amir Khan looks set to miss out on yet another dream fight, as he has confirmed today that negotiations with the team of Manny Pacquiao have collapsed.
For the last number of months it appeared as though Khan was the front-runner in the race towards a bout with the famed Filipino icon. When another leading candidate, Lucas Matthysse was knocked-out by Viktor Postol, Khan’s place at the head of the queue seemed solidified.
As recently as yesterday, Khan expressed his confidence that the fight would happen to Salvador Rodriguez of ESPN.
Today, however, a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates is reporting that the Bolton boxer has withdrawn from talks with Pacquiao and his representatives.
Khan told The National that the negotiations had reached an impasse. “They aren’t playing ball. All that was left to do is to sign the contract. But they are stalling”. He added, “I have pulled out of the negotiations. I am no longer fighting Manny Pacquiao”.
Khan also stated that he feels Pacquiao and his handlers are wary of the fight, because he is a bad style match-up for the multi-weight champion.
“They know I am a tricky fight for him and they know I will beat him. Or else, why pull out of a fight when there is a lot of money on the table?”
It is another frustrating situation for Khan who on several occasions in the past seemed on the brink of securing a mega-money bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. His eagerness to face the former pound for pound king led to a lengthy period of inactivity in 2013 and early 2014, as he waited for confirmation from the welterweight superstar.
Khan has apparently learned his lesson from the Mayweather saga, however, as he told the UAE source that he wouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines in anticipation of Pacquiao’s return to the table.
“I am not going to wait around for Manny like I did for Mayweather. I need to fight and if they don’t want to fight then that’s fine, I have other targets”.
Among those that Khan claimed he would consider fighting next were former conquerors Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, as well as Timothy Bradley, and his fellow Brit, Kell Brook.
The failure of these talks will likely add to speculation that Pacquiao is targeting a return with the supposedly retired Mayweather. There were reports during the week that Manny had revealed he was in negotiations with Floyd. Both Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, have since come out and dismissed those rumours.
Arum told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! that the story was “bullsh*t” and suggested that the language barrier between Manny and an Agence France-Presse reporter had led to an inaccurate picture being portrayed.
The Ring reported Pacquiao’s denial of the story, but in that piece Manny did suggest he was interested in the rematch. “No, I didn’t talk to him[Mayweather]. But I did talk to Bob[Arum]”, said the congressman.