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Amir Khan still wants fight with Manny Pacquiao before retirement

As he has for years, Amir Khan is pining for a clash with Manny Pacquao.

Amir Khan Media Access Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

When he’s not out spreading dunderheaded conspiracy theories about coronavirus, Amir Khan still occasionally thinks about boxing, it seems, and told Sky Sports that he still wants to face Manny Pacquiao before he retires.

Khan (34-5, 21 KO) is 33 years old now and doesn’t have a good win in quite a long time — in years, in fact. Several of them. In his last outing, he stopped former featherweight Billy Dib in a welterweight bout in Saudi Arabia last July, three months after an awful challenge against Terence Crawford in a pay-per-view dud for Top Rank and ESPN.

But Khan is still confident that he can handle himself in the ring against top guys.

“I’m still in the top 10 rankings in the world and amongst the biggest names in boxing,” he said. “I still feel young and athletic and strong. I’ve still got a couple of fights left in me, but I want to make sure what fights they are, and they have to make business sense, as well.”

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO), who holds the WBA welterweight title at age 41, has been on Khan’s wish list for a long time, as was Floyd Mayweather until Mayweather retired before that ever happened. But Pacquiao’s still out there, and Khan still wants it, obviously.

“I’d love to fight against Manny Pacquiao,” Khan said. “I think that’d be an amazing fight stylistically, something I’ve always wanted for a long time. I think styles make fights and I think that fight would be a perfect fight. I’m 100 percent against southpaws, I do really well against them. Speed versus speed. We’re ex-training partners and used to spare with each other quite a lot. There’s a lot of history there.”

There was a point in time, perhaps, that Pacquiao-Khan would’ve been a pretty interesting fight, and you could certainly still sell it somewhere. Saudi Arabia might pay good money for that fight, in fact — really good money.

But Khan’s name value in the States especially really may have taken its final hit with that Crawford performance last year. Not only did fans think he quit in a fight where he was being outclassed, but his post-fight insistence that he didn’t was arguably even worse for his reputation. Everyone expected him to lose to Crawford, and badly, but he turned that into a bigger story than it needed to be, and it wasn’t the type of story that was good for him.

And while the fight may make business sense for Khan, it might not for Manny. Again, there’s money there to be made, and most would figure it easy money for the Filipino legend, but there’s also big money to be made in bigger fights with other PBC welterweights like Errol Spence, who also still wants to fight Manny.

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