Blockbuster superfight as Pacquiao v Khan is confirmed

Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao's office said the bout would take place in the United Arab Emirates.
Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao's office said the bout would take place in the United Arab Emirates.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA • Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao and British fighter Amir Khan confirmed separately yesterday that they would face each other on April 23 after weeks of conflicting reports.

Pacquiao tweeted: "Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted.#PacquiaoKhan".

A few minutes later, Khan posted on his official Twitter feed: "My team and I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight #pacquiaokhan #April23rd".

Neither of them gave a venue for the match but a source in Pacquiao's office said the bout would be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pacquiao's American promoter, Bob Arum, has previously been quoted as saying on the ESPN that "Manny is trying to get a fight done in the UAE, and the people there favour him fighting Amir Khan".

A spokesman for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight champion Pacquiao could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Pacquiao, 38, previously confirmed on Twitter that he was "in negotiations" to face Khan, 30, despite Arum's own efforts to arrange a fight with Australian Jeff Horn in April.

Pacquiao tweeted on Feb 11: "See you in UAE for my next fight. #TeamPacquiao".

He also posted a poll on his official Twitter feed asking his followers to choose either Horn, Khan, American Terence Crawford or Briton Kell Brook as his next opponent.

Khan had been leading the poll when it was taken down.

Pacquiao announced a brief retirement last year but made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas to win the WBO welterweight belt in November.

Pacquiao had said he was retiring to focus on his new role as a Philippine senator, after winning elections last year on the back of his sporting fame.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Blockbuster superfight as Pacquiao v Khan is confirmed'. Print Edition | Subscribe