Breaking News: Pacquiao-Khan Fight A No Go
By: Sean Crose
It ain’t happening, folks. Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan are not going to be meeting in the boxing ring, at least not anytime soon. Talk was that the phantom superfight would go down in the Middle East this spring. What’s more, both Pacquiao and Khan announced over Twitter that they would, in fact, be facing one another. As Boxing Insider reported earlier this week, however, there was a potential air of unreality about the entire affair.
And now word arrives that the fight simply won’t be happening. ESPNs Dan Rafael writes that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum informed ESPN “that the UAE deal for Pacquiao-Khan was dead.” UAE, which stands for United Arab Emirates, was said to be the proposed location of the hoped for megabout. What Pacquiao will do now is anyone’s guess, never mind Khan.
Pacquiao was originally supposed to face the widely unknown Jeff Horn, possibly in Horn’s homeland of Australia. That idea was clearly not in keeping with what Pacquiao wanted, however. Now that the potential of a big money dream match with Khan has morphed into a dream deferred, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
By: William Holmes
Noun: A freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.
Verb: Lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona
MTV’s popular catfish television show has been on air for six years and is extremely popular and shows no signs of slowing down.
This show highlights unsuspecting and naïve romantics falling in love with an online persona that’s often being controlled by someone that is not who the victim thinks they are. The popularity of the show lies in the drama and heartbreak that is shown when the lie is ultimately revealed to the heartbroken Romeo.
The naivety of these victims is hard to believe, and the desperation of these victims makes it hard for them to see past the smoke and mirrors of an obvious con.
Which leads us to the latest talk of Manny Pacquiao facing Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Khan was expressed his desire to fight a big fight in the UAE since the mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather in 2015, and has established financial connections to that area as evident by a recent MMA gym he opened in Dubai.
When Pacquiao and Khan originally announced their fight on social media it was scheduled to take place on April 23rd, with no pay per view partner or network partnership announced.
If Pacquiao and Khan, as well as Pacquiao’s long time advisor Michael Koncz, are announcing that the parties have come to an agreement, surely an official announcement will soon follow.
But there’s one man who hasn’t confirmed the fight is official, and he’s the only man that can make it a reality.
That man is Bob Arum.
He’s gone as far as to call the reports of the fight “total and complete bu****t”. The short time to the date of an April fight would make it nearly impossible to make it with the proper promotional muscle. Reports have been put out there that the fight has since been moved back to May 20th.
But even that seems questionable. A fight in May would require Pacquiao to go back on his promise to not miss any sessions in the Filipino senate due to boxing, and Ramadan the Muslim holy month, begins on May 26th.
So why hasn’t Bob Arum given his blessing for a fight in the UAE? The likely answer is money, or the lack of guaranteed money.
When Pacquiao fought Mayweather he made an estimated career high of $120 million. But his purses since then have been decreasing in size. His third fight with Timothy Bradley netted him an estimated $20 million, and his fight with Jesse Vargas only earned him a guarantee of $4 million, with a percentage of Pay Per View Sales added on top of it. He made more than $4 million for his fight with Vargas, but nowhere near the money he made with Mayweather and still likely less than what he made for Bradley.
Pacquiao was rumored to face Jeff Horn before the talks of a fight with Khan emerged, but his purse was only reported to be a guaranteed $7 million, with an unrealistic shot at high Pay Per View sales.
Amir Khan’s value is also no longer what it used to be. It was rumored that Khan made upwards of $13 million when he fought Canelo Alvarez; but he was brutally knocked out for the third time in his career.
Many consider Khan to be damaged goods.
Khan’s financial prospects in the sport of boxing have decreased even further when his longtime rival Kell Brook officially signed to fight Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao’s declining value must be of great concern to him and his team, and to Arum. But Bob Arum has been one of boxing’s most successful promoters for decades for good reason: he knows how to make money, and knows the difference between a good deal and a bad one.
Much like the hopeless romantic that gets so easily suckered by a fake online profile, Khan and Pacquiao appear to be desperate in their search for another big payday.
The question remains as to who is putting up the money for this big time fight to be made in the UAE? The logistics alone of putting a major title fight in the Middle East would be extremely difficult, and the time zone difference would have a negative effect on pay per view sales.
Bob Arum is a businessman, and he knows a good deal when he sees it and is willing to jump on it if it presents itself. The guaranteed money must be missing from this deal for Arum to refute reports of the fight not being made. It’s hard to imagine Arum turning down this fight if there was real money to be made for all parties involved.
Where’s the money coming from?
Does Khan have a Middle Eastern Prince in his back pocket that’s willing to finance the fight regardless of the financial risks involved? A third party has to be involved for Khan and Pacquiao to get the guaranteed money $30 million they think they’ll receive.
Pacquiao and Khan appear to believe that this group is willing and able to guarantee the purses they seek, but until Arum announces the fight as being official…
Pacquiao and Khan might have been catfished.
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.
Pacquiao Tweets He’s Negotiating With Khan
By: Sean Crose
“My team and I are in negotiations with Amir Khan for our next fight. Further announcement coming soon. #TeamPacquiao”
So tweeted Manny Pacquiao this evening , adding intrigue to what has already been a series of statements from a variety of people regarding a Pacquiao-Khan bout over the past several days. If there’s one certainty, however, is that Pacquiao-Khan would be a good match. And yeah, people would probably tune in. No, it wouldn’t bring in anything close to a million pay per view buys, but it would certainly generate some genuine interest.
Both men, after all, are fast. Exceedingly so. There’s something else at play here, though. Should they meet at the 147 pound limit, the winner of a Manny-Amir bout might help decide who the king of the welterweight division is. Seriously. It’s hard for me to see any of today’s top crop of welterweights besting Pacquiao, except maybe for Kell Brook, Errol Spence Jr…or perhaps Khan himself. Sure, Khan lost to Garcia a while back, but I think he could take Garcia in a rematch. What’s more, I feel Pacquiao would take Garcia to school. Same with Keith Thurman (except perhaps to a lesser extent than Garcia).
What people tend to forget is that Khan is an exceedingly good fighter. Yes, he has a devastatingly poor chin. We know that. You have to hit the guy, though, in order to best him. Let’s keep in mind what he was doing to Canelo Alvarez before the far bigger Canelo dusted him last year. Allow me to take things a step further: I feel Floyd Mayweather may well have avoided Khan. Believe it. It’s hard for me to see how facing Marcos Maidana made Floyd more money a few years back than a throwdown with Khan would have.
I digress, however. The truth remains that an aging Pacquiao is still a dominant Pacquiao. The man needs quality opponents, however. And Khan is certainly that. The problem, of course, is that people feel Khan is arrogant and delusional, that he truly believes he’s on par with Manny and Floyd when it comes to prestige. He’s not, and the image he’s presenting – intentionally or not – is hurting his brand in the eyes of fans. There’s something else at play here, too, though, and that’s the fact that most might want to see Manny face the likes of Bud Crawford rather than Khan. People think Manny is cherry picking at this point and Khan’s less than stellar resume these past few years may keep people from altering that opinion.
Still, this would be some kind of match, between two lightning fast, exciting pros. Indeed, I’ll go right out and say Pacquiao-Khan would make for a top level, regular broadcast HBO fight. Unfortunately, however, it would most likely appear on PPV.