By Pete Axline: In response to Manny Pacquiao’s publicist denying there’s a signed fight for November 8, Amir Khan is saying that the Filipino star has indeed signed for the match. When Pacquiao was asked on Tuesday about the news of him signing to fight Khan for a match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he shook his head, and made a face in letting the media know he hasn’t signed for a fight.
Khan says Super Boxing League has signatures on contract
“If it’s not done, I’m the one that’s gonna be looking stupid. Super Boxing League say they have signatures,” said Khan to the Irishmirror. “I am gonna be fighting regardless in Riyadh on November 8th. Hopefully it’s gonna be true that it’ll be Manny Pacquiao. Fingers crossed it is Manny Pacquiao and we wish him all the best in the Keith Thurman fight and hopefully there will be an announcement from Manny,” said Khan.
It’s unclear why Pacquiao would deny signing for a fight with Khan if he had. Pacquiao is the type of fighter that is open when talking about fights. Would there be a reason for Manny to keep the Khan fight secret if he’d signed for it?
The question many boxing fans have is why would former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Khan (33-5, 21 KOs) tell the media that Pacquiao has signed a fight with him when he hasn’t done so? If Pacquiao did sign for the fight with Khan, it wouldn’t hurt for the news to be announced now rather than later.
Some fans might be more inclined to want to purchase Manny’s pay-per-view fight against Keith Thurman this weekend if they know he’s facing Khan next. Of course, Khan isn’t a big name in the U.S with the casual fans, and many of the hardcore fans see him as an over-the-hill guy that is just hustling to put together fights against top guys.
Manny Pacquiao’s spokesman denies contract being signed for Khan fight
Pacquiao’s spokesperson Fred Sternberg said he’s unaware of any signed contract between Manny and Khan. Fred said this to the BBC Sport:
“Manny has not signed any contract. As far as I know it hasn’t been even discussed. He’s been in training camp for the past eight weeks, four in the Philippines and four in the States, and he hasn’t met with Amir Khan during that time. That’s a question you need to ask Amir Khan”.
Khan says he’ll still fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 8, even if Pacquiao isn’t his opponent. It’ll be interesting to see who Khan picks out for his next fight on that date if Pacquiao isn’t his opponent. Kell Brook wants the Khan fight, but that’s a match-up better suited for the UK in a stadium.
Khan doing a good job of putting together fights
Despite not having done much with his career since losing to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in consecutive fights in 2011/2012, Khan has fought for world titles against Saul Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford. Khan moved up to middleweight to challenge Canelo for his WBC title in 2016, and was knocked out in the sixth round. Before then, Khan had never fought at middleweight. To get a title shot against WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last April, Khan beat Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas.
Many boxing fans grumbled at seeing Khan get a title shot that they felt that he didn’t deserve against Crawford. Khan was stopped in the sixth round by Crawford after being hit with a low blow. Virgil Hunter, the trainer for Khan, decided that he was too hurt from the low blow for him to continue. The perception many fans had afterwards was that Khan had quit, and they weren’t happy about it. The fight was on ESPN pay-per-view, and paying fans didn’t like the outcome one bit.
Since Khan’s loss to Crawford, he defeated former IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib last Friday night in Saudi Arabia. Khan used his superior size to crush his smaller opponent Dib in four rounds. It was a slaughter from the word go. Khan’s reported pay for the Dib fight was £7m .