Amir Khan has heard tale of Manny Pacquiao claiming that members of Khan's team made it difficult to come to an agreement for an April 9 fight, and has chosen to respond publicly to those claims, saying that Top Rank had productive talks with his team before choosing Timothy Bradley Jr as Pacquiao's opponent.
"I have read recent comments by Manny Pacquiao stating that the reason a fight between us never happened was because of ‘middle men' in my team - this is totally inaccurate and false," Khan said in a press release.
"The only people negotiating on my behalf, as with all my fights, were my father Shah, uncle Taz and lawyer Robert Davis. They dealt directly with Manny Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum and adviser Michael Koncz."
Khan says that Arum requested a meeting that took place last September between the Top Rank promoter and Khan's uncle Taz and lawyer Robert Davis. He claims that the meeting went well, and there was even a term sheet signed and sent to Arum.
"My team was told by Bob Arum that it was a choice between either Terence Crawford or myself and dates in April were being explored with the fight to take place in Las Vegas or Qatar," Khan added. "Since September of last year my team had been in direct contact with Pacquiao's team, spoke with them and met them face-to-face, so to state that middle men prevented the fight from happening is not true at all.
"Rather, having seen comments from Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach saying that HBO were not interested in the fight - yet are seemingly happy to broadcast a third fight between Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley - makes clear the contradictions and the fact his team knew a fight between us would be a very dangerous one for him and best avoided."
Khan also says that he feels that Top Rank and Pacquiao chose Timothy Bradley because they feel that Bradley is an easier fight.
"Freddie, who has trained us both, knows how our sparring sessions used to go and with me having filled out more now as a welterweight, getting bigger and stronger, makes a fight with Bradley - who Pacquiao in most opinions has beaten twice - a much easier option," Khan said.
"I want to make the best fights for the fans and it was neither my team nor a lack of desire from my end which prevented a fight with Pacquiao from happening - that rests squarely on Team Pacquiao."
Pacquiao also recently said that Top Rank chose Bradley as his opponent over Khan (and Crawford), which makes sense in many ways. With Bradley, Top Rank controls all the money from the fight, which they would not have with Khan as the opponent. As for Terence Crawford, a possible loss to Pacquiao would have harmed his advancement into stardom, and Bradley, an older fighter who is probably as popular as he's going to get, does not impact Top Rank's post-Pacquiao future to that same degree.