When we last checked in on former light-welterweight boxing champion Amir Khan, it looked like he was going to be fighting Jeff Horn this April. Scratch that: Khan will be fighting Manny Pacquiao instead.
It’s the marquee matchup Khan has been hunting down for years. Boxing fans have been waiting patiently, too – waiting for Pacquiao to do battle against a credible opponent. But will this bout actually take place?
Probably. Nothing has been made official as of press time, and the boxing odds at Bovada have yet to go up on the board. But both fighters tweeted that negotiations were successful, and the match would take place April 23, location to be determined.
Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #PacquiaoKhan
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 26, 2017
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) February 26, 2017
Not long after those tweets, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who handles Pacquiao’s matches, said the fight with Khan wasn’t a done deal just yet. And as we go to press, we’ve just learned that the prospective date has been moved to May 20, with the United Arab Emirates supplying the host venue.
Despite the finagling, it appears Pacquiao-Khan is going to be a reality. They’ll be fighting on a Friday night (U.S. time) rather than a Saturday, which is a bit weird. They also have to follow the big pay-per-view match on May 6 between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Juilo Cesar Chavez Jr. But the American PPV market is not the be-all and end-all of boxing. Everyone’s going to make a lot of money – again, assuming the show does go on.
38 years old
It’s safe to say Pacquiao will be the favorite when Bovada releases their official boxing odds for this matchup. Earlier prospective odds had “Pac-Man” as a 4-9 chalk, with Khan pegged at 7-4. But Khan was a 7-2 underdog when he fought Canelo. Perhaps he’ll do better versus Pacquiao; the champion is 38 years old, after all, eight years older and considerably smaller than his opponent.
So what can we expect once the two gentlemen step into the ring? We haven’t seen Khan (31-4, 19 KO) since last May, when Canelo knocked him out in the sixth and claimed the lineal middleweight title. Meanwhile, Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) successfully defended his lineal welterweight title in November with a clear unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas.