After Australia fight falls through, Manny Pacquiao is looking for a date with Amir Khan

Manny Pacquiao, right, defeated Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
(Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

Manny Pacquiao has joined most of the boxing masses in turning his back on a proposed April 21 fight in Australia against Jeff Horn, reporting on Twitter late Wednesday that he’s in talks to fight England’s former 140-pound world champion Amir Khan next.

Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts), the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, is aiming for the bout against his former stable-mate Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) to be in the United Arab Emirates.

On Twitter, Pacquiao posted, “My team and I are in negotiations with Amir Khan for our next fight. Further announcement soon.”

The post, according to Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, stems from Pacquiao’s confidence that a group of financial backers will follow through on promises of a purse that could top $30 million.


Arum, however, expressed caution, saying, “Let’s see the money first.”

The proposed fight against Horn, a 2012 Australian Olympian, was to be Pacquaio’s first defense of the WBO belt he regained in November by defeating Las Vegas’ Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision.

But, amid a lack of buzz over a likely one-sided showing against an inexperienced, obscure foe, Arum said financing for that deal has fallen apart.

A bout against Khan would be compelling for several reasons, starting with the fact that Khan turned his back on Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach of Hollywood’s Wild Card Boxing Club following his knockout loss to Danny Garcia.

Khan said some disparaging things about Roach, who certainly remembers.

Khan boldly took on a 155-pound assignment against Canelo Alvarez in May, and, after boxing well through the first few rounds, he suffered a devastating sixth-round knockout that required a post-fight trip to a local hospital.