Pacquiao, Khan reach agreement to fight on April 23
Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan say that their fight is on, announcing on Twitter that they’ve agreed to terms to fight.
The former gym mates will fight April 23 (April 22 U.S. time), most likely in the United Arab Emirates, where Pacquiao had previously announced his next bout would take place.
“Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted,” said Pacquiao, referring to the poll he held on his Twitter account where 48 percent of the nearly 45,000 respondents picked Khan, and just 7 percent picked Jeff Horn, whom Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had said Pacquiao would fight in Australia.
Arum told the Courier-Mail that Pacquiao was offered “an insane amount of money” to consider fighting in the UAE instead, but remained skeptical of the offer’s validity, telling ESPN, “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.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) has won two straight since a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. In his last bout, in November, the Philippine senator won a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas to win the WBO welterweight title.
Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) of Bolton, England, is a former unified junior welterweight titleholder and 2004 Olympic silver medalist. Khan is 8 years younger than Pacquiao and spent time from 2009-2012 training alongside Pacquiao under Freddie Roach.
In his last fight, Khan was knocked out in six rounds by Canelo Alvarez in a RING/WBC middleweight title fight.
Both fighters will likely have significant fan representation in the UAE, with Khan being a Muslim of Pakistani descent, and the UAE having a large concentration of Filipino overseas workers.
Messages to Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz and to Top Rank were not answered by the time of this story’s publication.