Pacquiao-Khan fight reset to May 20
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 02, 2017,
Mar 02, 2017, 7:16
After originally being scheduled for April 23rd, the Manny Pacquiao-Amir Khan WBO welterweight championship clash has been moved back a month later, says Top Rank Boxing CEO Bob Arum. "It's only official when the money is available to pay the expenses and the fighters".
Khan's last fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez brought in 600,000 buys on HBO PPV last May in the U.S. Those are good numbers. But in speaking with The Manila Times, Eric Pineda, Pacquiao's business manager, said the fight is set for May 20 in the UAE; either Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
"We chose to move it to May 19 here and May 20 in the United [Arab] Emirates so we'd have time to promote it properly and make it a huge success", Koncz told Yahoo Sports.
And Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, has given Khan - a welterweight - credit for trying to buck the odds against Alvarez. "I have to talk to both fighters [on Wednesday] to get them to approve going in May instead of in April".
"When I saw Amir ran away with it, I figured most of the votes from from England and a lot of them came from the [UAE], but they told me that 86 percent of them were from the US", he said.
Continuing the rare theme of this fight, it could come on a Friday night, Koncz said, due to the different structure of weekends in the UAE. As of now, other than the fact that Michael and I are on the same page as far as the fight not happening in April and that we hope to make something happen, who knows?
By then, however, Khan will have been out of action for over a year. He matches up well with Manny and like I said, it's a 50-50 fight. "I don't think there will be any problem", he added.
Pacquiao came out of retirement last November to challenge and eventually, dethrone Jessie Vargas to regain the WBO version of the 147-lbs. title belt.
"In order for the fight to happen in the UAE, funds have to be produced to enable the fight to happen and I am hoping that those funds would materialize". "We'll be able to properly promote it and while it will be a Friday in the United States, it will be a Saturday there".
When Pacquiao was knocking everyone out, his popularity was soaring in the U.S. His long dry spell where he failed to knockout anyone saw him reaching a plateau in gaining new boxing fans.
Khan, who won a silver medal in 2004, confirmed on Twitter that his team had agreed to Pacquiao's terms and would meet him for a "super fight". "We have the time now to promote it properly and I think we have the right fight, so I think it will do well".