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Khan blames Arum for Pacquiao fight falling through

Amir Khan says Bob Arum wasn’t keen on him fighting Manny Pacquiao and did what he could to follow his own agenda.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

In this video interview with FightHype, Amir Khan talks about what went wrong in his negotiations to fight Manny Pacquiao. Here’s what he had to say...

On how his fight with Pacquiao fell apart:

“You know, Al Haymon is my advisor, so I said to him I’ve spoke to Michael Koncz, who is advisor of Manny Pacquiao, has got in touch with my team and said ‘look, we want the Amir-Pacquiao fight.’ So Manny did like a vote, like a poll, and I got the highest - like 50% of the poll...So I got the highest vote and thought this fight is gonna happen now.

“[Pacquiao] wanted to see what the hype was going to be like, and he did, so he knew it was an interesting fight. Also there’s a lot of history in that, me and Manny trained together, we used to train with Freddie Roach, so there’s a lot of history. And we’re friends but sometimes you put your friendship to the side. But it just seemed to me that the reason the fight did not happen is because Bob Arum wanted the Jeff Horn fight for Manny...

“And also, the investors in Dubai or Abu Dhabi or wherever they were from were a little bit slow on bringing the deal to the table. But the money was there. But that’s what I was told, but then when my team spoke to the investors directly everything was there and they said that ‘Look, it’s Manny’s team that didn’t want the fight.’

“But I just think it’s not fair on the fighter when you know you might have a big fight ahead of you and they’re just playing you along, playing you along, and playing you along saying the fight’s gonna happen and the fight doesn’t happen. I know I’m going to get a lot of criticism, people saying to me ‘ah, you were chasing the Manny Pacquiao fight and you waited so long and wasted so much time in your career’ but you know what, they would’ve done the same thing because we got so close with everything, the negotiating, everything. But one thing that wasn’t done was the contract signed. That’s the only thing that was never done.

“So it’s not my fault, I only wanted to give the fans the best out there. And that fight for me was a big fight and it didn’t happen so we just have to move on to other things now.

“Maybe at this stage of Manny’s career it wasn’t the right fight and maybe Bob didn’t think that. Bob, being the advisor/promoter of Manny Pacquiao - the boss, really. He didn’t want the fight, so that’s the reason the fight didn’t happen. But look, maybe in the future that fight can happen - I think it would be massive, do big numbers all around the world...

“I respect Manny Pacquiao and his team but it’s just one of them things where I’m just upset it didn’t happen. And he’s going ahead and fighting someone like Jeff Horn who no one’s really heard of but I mean, look...Manny deserves a nice tune-up fight because he’s always been in tough fights, giving us that great entertainment. So I’m just gonna carry on with my career, he’s gonna career on with his career, and if we meet, we meet.”

On if he would entertain another negotiation with Pacquiao after what just happened:

“It just depends who we are speaking to. If it comes from someone like Bob The Boss, he’s a boss, really, what he says goes in my opinion — then the fight can happen. If not then there’s other names out there and, look, I’ve got big fights ahead of me. I got like the Kell Brook fight that could happen, the [Danny] Garcia rematch could happen, I’d love to fight Thurman because I think stylistically it’s a great fight for me. So I’ve got big fights ahead of me anyway. I’m not in a bad position.”

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