Is Pacquiao set to face Khan in the UAE?

Eight division world champion, Manny Pacquaio, this week used Twitter to ask his followers which opponent they wanted…
Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan

Eight division world champion, Manny Pacquaio, this week used Twitter to ask his followers which opponent they wanted him to fight next.

Pacquiao’s Twitter poll asked followers to choose between; Jeff Horn, Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and Kell Brook.

Khan topped the poll, claiming 48% of the 44,000 votes it received.

The poll came just hours after Pacquiao and his advisor, Michael Koncz, announced that the next fight would be taking place in the UAE.

“There was a lot of confusion whether this is going to happen here in the UAE,” said Koncz. “[But] I’m here with full authority and power. I have been the marriage counsellor for Manny and we have developed a relationship. I’m involved in all aspects of what he does.

“We have executed the agreement in the morning and 100 percent the fight will he here in the UAE.”

Meanwhile, Pacquiao used Twitter to announce the fight’s location.

Such moves by Pacquiao, fly in the face of the last public statements made by Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum. In recent months, Arum was confident that Pacquiao would face Horn in Australia. So confident, he told Steve Kim:

“I just got off the phone with them, once they select the state it’s going to be at, whether it’s Brisbane or Melbourne, then we’ll go forward with an announcement and so forth.”

However, no formal announcement was ever made for a contest between Pacquiao and Horn. Parties representing both fighters acknowledged they were in talks, with the Filipino superstar stating:

“We are still negotiating about that. Nothing is really final, the date, who is the opponent. There are a lot of offers from other countries.”

Pacquiao, now a Senator in the Phillippines, is now only able to fight at certain times of the year because of his governmental duties. Both April and November have both been mentioned as potential dates for Pacquiao’s first defence of his WBO welterweight title, which he won last November when defeated Jessie Vargas, in Las Vegas.

Khan, who recently underwent surgery on his hand, has stated that he wants a feel good fight in April/May, before looking toward a title shot in late 2017.

Whether Pacquiao will face Khan or another opponent remains to be seen. Both fighters were close to securing a deal in the UAE last year but never managed to get the fight finalised.

A formal announcement on Pacquiao’s next opponent is expected from his team in the coming days.

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