Pacquiao vs. Khan—Just Do It

By Robert Ecksel on March 1, 2017
Pacquiao vs. Khan—Just Do It
Some are alleging the poll was a setup, that Khan had already been selected in advance.

Khan might not be as dangerous as Kell Brook or Terence Crawford, but he is a tough competitor who always comes to fight…

Top Rank’s Bob Arum has wanted to promote a fight in the Middle East forever. However attractive a proposition, some thought it was pie in the sky, while others saw it as money in the bank, especially when a fighter the caliber of Manny Pacquiao was involved.

That volatile region has never hosted a world-class championship fight. When the idea was floated in the past, the cons always seemed to outweigh the pros. Sometimes Manny’s opponent wanted to fight closer to home. Other times the logistics of hosting a fight at such a far remove from the U.S, Great Britain, or Germany, created problems as well.

But according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, who spoke with Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz yesterday after a meeting with Bob Arum, it looks like Manny’s next fight will be on Friday, May 19, in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai against former super lightweight champion Amir Khan, a British-born Muslim with roots in Pakistan.

“We decided to move it to May 19 here and May 20 in the United [Arab] Emirates,” Koncz said, “so we’d have time to promote it properly and make it a huge success.”

Critics of the fight are already sharpening the knives. Hopefully nothing of value gets cut in the process.

Taking a page from the Mayweather playbook, Pacquiao conducted a poll via Twitter last month, asking his followers who he should fight next. Of 44,815 votes cast, with 86 percent of those votes coming from the U.S., Khan swept the poll with a whopping 48 percent, defeating Kell Brook, Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn, who received 24 percent, 21 percent, and seven percent, respectively.

Some are alleging the poll was a setup, that Khan had already been selected in advance. But without any evidence, it’s a claim with all the substance of a dog chasing its tail.

“When I saw Amir ran away with it, I figured most of the votes came from England,” Koncz said, “but they told me that 86 percent of them were from the U.S. That meant a lot. Obviously, Amir’s a big name in the U.S., too, as well as in England and people saw it for what it is: A toss-up fight against two fast-handed guys.”

The knock on Khan is his chin. He has lost three of his last eight fights, with two of those three losses coming by way of knockout. In his last fight, on May 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he fought Canelo Alvarez and gave the redhead a boxing lesson, before succumbing to the bigger man in the sixth round.

“I saw some people on the internet criticizing Amir for getting knocked out like that, but I don’t criticize him,” Koncz said. “I applaud him for stepping up and taking the fight against a good fighter like Canelo. He went up two weight classes to take that fight.”

Arum is “skeptical” about the fight today, but tomorrow he may feel otherwise.

Khan may no longer be at the top of his game. But that applies to Pacquiao as well. Still, he like Manny remains an elite fighter, and while he might not be as dangerous as Kell Brook or Terence Crawford, Khan is a tough competitor who always comes to fight. Plus, and more important, he isn’t afraid to go out on his shield if that’s what it takes.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. tetumbo 07:53pm, 03/01/2017

    i would be shocked if Khan dares overconfidence for this bout. it was his primary flaw in KO losses to Prescott and Garcia but he stood his ground v. the teak-tough Maidana for that win and was robbed v. Peterson. moreover, the book on Pacquiao has been written, edited, proofread, and published for the entire boxing world to read. Pacquiao only has one punch he relies on and that’s his power-Left. he has no jab and his footwork is predictable and easy to time. if Khan sticks to that book, i’d be surprised if he didn’t win by KO v. an aggressive and overconfident Pacquiao. the catch is that Marquez SOCKED a lot of the reckless aggression and confidence out of Pacquiao. he’s become a high-powered sniper only willing to engage after an opponent’s been hurt. IMO, all of these factors and variable make this an intriguing match-up to watch and look forward too.

  2. Levi C. Arabelo 05:39pm, 03/01/2017

    He will fall like his fellow Brit, but maybe longer than Hatton second round demolition. Khan don’t have a chance here, he was figured out by the Master Roach and Pacquiao long ago. One shot to his glass jaw will end the bout abruptly. Remember how Prescott, Garcia and Alvarez knocked him, here’s the link below:

  3. Arnold Parish 03:06pm, 03/01/2017

    As always, Pacquiao is always underestimated. He defeated Bradley and Vargas convincingly. Pacquiao is still the top dog at 147 lbs. No one compares.

  4. tetumbo 01:58pm, 03/01/2017

    a bit overdue but i’ve always liked this match-up. however, if Khan’s chin and jaw hadn’t become a molded lump of bondo, this would be a showdown that Pacquiao would’ve never confirmed. instead, Pacquiao is confident that every time he lands, the tide of the fight will shift or suddenly end in his favor. conversely, in addition to this height and reach advantage all Khan needs to do is stick to the book: stick that jab in Manny’s face, move to his left, and counter the power-Left all fight long. he can count on it. meanwhile, Pacquiao’s reaction to a Khan power-shot will be interesting. i wouldn’t be surprised to see chips of bondo flying off of his severely-dented chin either. all in all, a solid match-up between two formerly primetime but ringworn and dented veterans for whom each other’s Name promises redemption and renewed promotional appeal.

Leave a comment