Questions and Answers for Manny Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan
By: Kirk Jackson
Manny Pacquiao 59-6-2 (38 KO’s) pulled off the ultimate feint.
For months many believed the current WBO welterweight champion would square off against the relatively unknown Jeffrey Horn 16-0-1 (11 KO’s) at some point in March or April. This was set to be the first of fights in the proposed world tour Pacquiao will be conducting to finish his boxing career.
After an enormous amount of backlash – mainly from fans of boxing, the proposed showdown between Horn and Pacquiao appears to be a no-go in light of the recent announcements from both Pacquiao and Amir Khan31-4 (19 KO’s).
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) February 26, 2017
Horn’s promoterDean Lonergan of Duco Events, still believes the fight between his fighter and Pacquiao is a possibility amid the announcements from Pacquiao and Khan.
“I won’t believe that Jeff is not Pacquiao’s next fight until Bob Arum tells me the deal if officially off,’’ Lonergan said to Fox Sports.
Lonergan continued, “We had already moved on from April 23 in Brisbane because with Manny talking to Amir Khan there was not enough time to get a promotion done in Brisbane.”
“We’re now hopeful we can put the fight together in June or July. The whole situation is incredibly bizarre. It’s one thing for two fighters to announce that they have reached an agreement but another thing for the promotion to take place.”
Many questions loom after the announcement of this fight.
If the announcements from Pacquiao and Khan hold weight and the much anticipated bout transpires at the proposed date of April 23rd, at a location yet to be determined, one of the questions is how did this happen?
What inspired the change of heart? Was fan backlash or lack of financial retribution the reason for the collapse of the initially proposed match for Pacquiao’s entry into 2017?
Financially speaking, a bout featuring Pacquiao and Khan stands to generate more money than a fight featuring Horn from the television spectrum.
Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observerreported the Pay-Per-View numbers from Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas were approximately 215,000 buys. Pacquiao’s lowest PPV numbers since he fought David Diaz back in 2008.
There wasn’t much demand for a fight with Vargas (no disrespect intended) and because of the lack of partnership with HBO for thatfight, Top Rank was left to promote the fight on their own.
Fighting Amir Khan instead of Jeffrey Horn eliminates some of the viewership problems.
Khan is a known commodity. He is coming off a PPV event with arguably boxing’s biggest star (Canelo Alvarez), and has international appeal.
Khan’s fight with Alvarez was on HBO PPV; it’s likely a fight featuring Khan and Pacquiao will broadcast on HBO PPV, the very least on HBO Championship Boxing. Although time is limited regarding promotion.
While Horn competed in the Olympic Games, Khan competed and won a silver medal. Horn is a current world title contender and multiple regional-title winner; Khan is a two-division, three time world champion.
It’s highly unlikely even the most dedicated Pacquiao and Horn fans will pay for a $60 plus PPV, especially with the lack of promotion or distribution across a major network.
On paper Pacquiao vs. Khan appears to be the better match-up; what transpires in the ring is another story in which we will not know until it unfolds.
Another question to pose, if the fight is to take place April 23rd, which is a Sunday, odd for traditional, high profile boxing bouts, where will this fight take place?
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, along with his financial advisor Michael Koncz mentioned fighting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is this a real possibility?
This would make sense, with Khan as the opponent. Khan spent time in UAE in years past andhas international appeal.
It’s rumored a group in the Middle East has offered a huge sum varying from $30 million to $38 million to bring Pacquiao-Khan to UAE.
If these reports are true, there is a substantial purse, a market for the fight and it makes sense from a television/broadcast standpoint if we connect the dots.
Makes sense from a fan’s perspective as well.
Who do you want me to fight next in the UAE?
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 12, 2017
It’s a wonderful thing Pacquiao is listening to the request of his fans; fightingKhanas opposed to fighting Horn.
It could be argued Pacquiao should be commended for taking on a greater challenge and not going the safe route and facing Horn.
However, it is unfortunate we may never see the Filipino slugger/politician against arguably boxing’s best fighter, Terence Crawford 30-0 (21 KO’s).
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, has made it no secret how dangerous he views a fight with Crawford.
“It’s not an easy fight,” said Roach. “It’s a tough fight, yes, but it’s one that we have to say yes to if that’s the only thing out there because we don’t wanna just be fighting nobodies and so forth to stay in the game.”
Crawford has a fight date towards the end of May. Maybe we’ll see the winner of Crawford’s match-up against the winner of Pacquiao-Khan, especially as it’s highly unlikely we’ll see the winner of Pacquiao-Khan against the winner of the WBC, WBA welterweight unification bout between Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman – due to promotional politics.
Is this the fight Khan should be making? Is this his best option?
Yes and no.
The last time we saw Khan in action, he was literally put to sleep after receiving a tremendous right hand from Alvarez in May of last of year.
Coming back to face a boxer who can still crack – albeit his power at the higher weights classes is diminished and exaggerated to an extent, still is not the wisest thing to do. Especially when coming off an 11 month layoff.
However, this is a fight Khan has begged for his entire career and this is an opportunity too grand to pass up.
Will this world tour truly signify the last run for Pacquiao? Will this world tour be comprised of a last attempt at huge financial grabsbefore Pacquiao descends completely into politics?
A series of high profile fights as opposed to the greatest challenges available? With nothing left to prove and his place in history already cemented, that may be the case.