Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that negotiations are underway for a high-stakes match against Amir Khan, slated for the upcoming year.
In an exclusive interview with Mail Sport, Khan revealed that discussions with Pacquiao have reached an advanced stage and the two will be competing in an epic showdown in Saudi Arabia.
The former light-welterweight world champion last entered the ring in a valiant effort against his long-time rival Kell Brook in February of this year. But he ended up losing. Meanwhile, Pacquiao has not competed since August 2021 since his defeat to Yordenis Ugas.
Currently, Pacquiao finds himself in Saudi Arabia in advance of Tyson Fury’s much-anticipated ‘Battle of the Baddest’ clash against MMA sensation Francis Ngannou. The event is scheduled for Saturday night.
During a gala event preceding the showdown, Pacquiao unequivocally affirmed to Mail Sport that talks with Khan are indeed in progress.
Despite having ventured into politics towards the end of his boxing career, Pacquiao contemplates a return from retirement. He said: “We are working on it at the moment.”
“We are expecting the fight to take place next year. The fight will be at 147.”
In an intriguing revelation, Pacquiao also expressed his aspiration to be a part of next summer’s Olympics in Paris. If successful, he would secure the Philippines’ first boxing gold medal at the age of 45.
Khan faced a setback in April, receiving a two-year ban from all sports due to a failed drug test after his bout with Brook two years ago. This suspension is set to conclude in April 2024, delaying any potential face-off with Pacquiao until then.
Boasting an iconic career, the Filipino boxer has won an astounding 12 major titles across eight distinct weight divisions. Notably, he stands as the sole boxer to attain the lineal championship in five weight classes.
The 44-year-old icon has left an indelible mark on the welterweight division, engaging in bouts against luminaries such as Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, and Miguel Cotto. The pinnacle of his career culminated in a long-awaited showdown with Floyd Mayweather in 2015.