Amir Khan disputed Manny Pacquiao’s recent claim that the brittle Englishman’s “middle men” prevented the two from fighting this spring.
Rather than meeting Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) or junior welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, the 37-year-old Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) will battle WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley for a third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“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,” said Khan, 29, a former IBF and WBA light-welterweight titleholder who captured silver as a 17-year-old lightweight at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. “This is totally inaccurate and false. 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.”
The 5-foot-9 Khan then asserted that Freddie Roach campaigned for Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) because “Desert Storm” will be a simpler opponent for the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao.
“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,” said Khan, who worked with Roach from 2008 through 2012. “In most opinions, Pacquiao has beaten Bradley twice and he is a much easier option. 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, who tore his rotator cuff roughly three weeks before getting outclassed by Floyd Mayweather on May 2, failed to properly inform the Nevada State Athletic Commission about his injury. Pacquiao was subsequently prohibited from taking an anti-inflammatory shot, fought timidly, and was outscored by the 38-year-old Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) by embarrassing counts of 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
Approximately four weeks after the Pacquiao debacle, Khan won an exciting unanimous decision over ballsy New Yorker Chris Algieri in their welterweight clash on May 29. Khan, who became one of the most youthful British champs ever at the age of 22, officially defeated the 31-year-old Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 117-111. Using deft footwork and an effective jab, the 5-foot-11 Algieri frequently rocked Khan with flush shots. Fortunately for the 8-1 favorite, Algieri possesses feathery fists and his punches couldn’t even floor the delicate Khan. “King Khan” ultimately escaped by leaning on his elite speed and pinpoint accuracy.
Pacquiao is an eight-division titleholder who the Boxing Writers Association of America named its “Fighter of the Decade for the 2000s.” The speedy southpaw used his superior quickness to land blistering combinations and become one the world’s premier pound-for pounders.
Comparatively, Khan is also extremely quick and his punches are consistently launched with tremendous precision. However, although gifted, Khan is a human chandelier whose glass jaw will prevent him from ever becoming an elite prizefighter. If the fragile Khan had thrown fists with the shopworn Filipino, Pacquiao would have secured his first knockout since November 2009 when he finished Miguel Cotto in the 12th.
Amir Khan should thank his “middle men” for impeding a mismatch against Manny Pacquiao.