Amir Khan, resigned to missing Floyd Mayweather, set on Manny Pacquiao: ‘Let’s do it in Dubai’

Speaking to The National's Omar Al Raisi, Amir Khan says he's resigned to Floyd Mayweather 'running scared' and instead plans to focus his efforts on securing a top-bill fight with Manny Pacquiao here.
Amir Khan has a career 30-3 record. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Amir Khan has a career 30-3 record. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Amir Khan is pushing his promoter for a bout with Manny Pacquaio in Dubai after setting aside his long-term goal of fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“I’ve told Oscar De La Hoya and my team to organise a fight in Dubai,” the British Pakistani boxer said on Monday. “I know Floyd won’t fight outside of Las Vegas, so I want the Pacquiao fight in Dubai.

“It’s the perfect place to fight: huge Filipino, Pakistani and British communities here and it will be big.

“Pacquiao likes the idea of travelling around the world and, if we get a good offer, let’s do it in Dubai.”

Khan had hoped to follow up his decisive victory over Devon Alexander in December with a Mayweather bout. The American is unbeaten in 47 fights.

“Everyone knows Floyd Mayweather is running scared,” Khan said. “The bottom line is he doesn’t want to fight me. He is more worried about that ‘0’ in his CV than opponents.

“His legacy means nothing if he doesn’t fight Manny Pacquiao or myself, the two fighters everyone says could give him his first loss.”

Khan conceded Mayweather perhaps is right to avoid him, as he would present the welterweight champion with an awkward match-up.

“Yes, styles make fights, and I’m fast, probably the fastest boxer there is right now,” Khan said. “But one of the main reasons Floyd is avoiding me is because I have long hands which gives me a reach advantage over him.

“Floyd likes to fight from the outside. He never stays in the pocket; he moves in and out. But he cannot do that with me, and on top of that I am faster than him. Even the great Sugar Ray Leonard said the same recently: he said I will give Floyd his first loss.”

Khan, the former light-welterweight champion, has returned to Dubai this week for a training camp at Eissa Al Dah’s gym.

“I love Dubai and UAE. They always welcome me and my family here,” he said. “I’m here for holidays. I always come back, as the people are great to me and I know exactly what to expect here.”

Last week, he visited Pakistan, ignoring the advice of those who said it was too dangerous, and made a point of traveling to Peshawar to visit the school where 132 children were killed in a terror attack.

View: Photos of Amir Khan in Peshawar

“I had to go,” Khan said. “Seeing on TV and hearing from people about what happened there was just horrible. I want to raise my voice, go there, meet the families of the victims and tell them that they have my support.

“It just gave me a chill when I stepped into that school with the blood stains and holes from bullets still on the walls. I donated my gold boxing shorts, which cost about US$50,000 (Dh183,657). I prayed there and met important leaders and politicians.

“The threats wont stop me, I will visit Pakistan again after my next fight, to see the progress of the rebuilding of the school.”

sports@thenational.ae

Published: January 12, 2015 04:00 AM

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