Despite his Top Rank promoter working out a deal for Manny Pacquiao to face Jeff Horn in Australia, Pacquiao appears to be setting his own plans in motion. Pacquiao raised some eyebrows when he announced on social media that he was actually going to fight in the UAE and asked fans to vote for his opponent.
Amir Khan won the poll by a considerable margin and now Pacquiao says he’s looking to follow through on his promise to fans by reportedly starting formal negotiations with Khan.
Bob Arum confirmed to ESPN yesterday that the Australian fight he negotiated has now officially fallen apart as Pacquiao is chasing much bigger money in the Middle East.
"The Australian deal is not going to happen now, because Manny is trying to get a fight done in the United Arab Emirates and the people there favor him fighting Amir Khan," Arum said.
Despite that, Arum seems to be highly skeptical that this deal ever comes together — which is pretty rational considering that big fights in Dubai are often talked about but never actually materialize.
"The Australian deal was a lot of money, but it paled in comparison to the ... money they're supposedly offering -- $38 million," Arum said derisively of the deal Pacquiao is pursuing. "I'm a practical man. The money in Australia wasn't anywhere near $38 million. What do I know? We live in an alternative reality world. I don't know what the story is. If the $38 million is real, it trumps the Australia deal. If it's real, we will assist putting on the event, but I am not holding my breath and I'm not making plane reservations.”
Meanwhile, Amir Khan’s heart is surely aflutter with news that he might finally land one of the marquee fights he’s long been chasing. He also might be setting himself up for another heartbreak though, as he’s been the last man standing when the music stops at least a few times.