Amir Khan has agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 20 in the UAE after the Filipino icon’s team swapped their initial bout date from April 23.
Michael Koncz, the long-time adviser to Pacquiao, confirmed to Yahoo Sports the clash will go ahead, should the two fighters agree to the altered date, following a two-hour meeting with his charge’s promoter Bob Arum.
And sources within Khan’s camp told Sport360 the 30-year-old is happy to fight on May 20. No venue has been announced with momentum gathering for either Dubai or Abu Dhabi to stage the fight.
And both camps expect the bout agreements to be signed and sealed within the next week or two.
Explaining the reasoning for the May 20 date, Koncz told Yahoo Sports: “We decided 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.”
He added: “We just want to do the best and the biggest fight we can, and this makes a lot of sense for so many reasons. We’ll be able to properly promote it and while it will be a Friday in the U.S., it will be a Saturday there. We were going to do it originally on a Sunday there, but that’s the start of their work week and we didn’t feel at the end of the day that would make as much sense.
“Their weekends are Friday-Saturday and putting the fight on Sunday when everyone was going back to work seemed like it might be a problem.
“Friday is a different night [than most Pay-Per-View cards are held in the U.S.], but remember how big the Friday Night Fights used to be. We have the time now to promote it properly and I think we have the right fight, so I think it will do well.”
One issue with the May 20 date is that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s hotly-anticipated clash with Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. opens up the month on May 6. It means Pacquiao and Khan will have to follow a fight which is expected to sell well on PPV in the US.
Grouping PPVs together so closely is considered a risk and with the traditional Saturday night outing also off the cards, sales could be hampered.
But, with talk of $38 million being offered to Pacquiao from the UAE, the PPV sales may only be seen as a top up to the Filpino’s purse.
Former world champions Dave Haye and Tony Bellew will meet in an absorbing heavyweight match on Saturday night (early Sunday morning UAE time) in London.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this eagerly anticipated bout.
WHEN IS IT ON?
Saturday, March 4 (early Sunday, March 5 UAE time)
WHERE IS THE FIGHT ON?
The O2 Arena, London
WHAT TIME WILL IT START?
Approximately 10.30-11pm GMT (2.30-3am UAE time)
HOW CAN I WATCH IT?
WHICH FIGHTER HAS A BETTER RECORD?
Amir Khan has confirmed he will fight Manny Pacquiao on April 23 and says the fight venue will be confirmed in the “next couple of days”.
The pair took to Twitter earlier today to announce their intentions to appear in a “super fight” and although Pacquiao said his next fight would be in the UAE, no venue has been announced.
Khan took to Snapchat to talk more about the fight with his former training partner and current WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao.
“There’s a couple of locations we’re looking at. One is UK, one is Dubai and one is in the USA,” the 30-year-old said. “We should find out in the next couple of days.”
He added: “The fight is going to be for the WBO title and it’s a fight I know I can win. I know a lot about Manny Pacquiao.”
Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #PacquiaoKhan— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 26, 2017
Eight-weight champion Pacquiao tweeted: “Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted.”
The Filipino icon was initially thought to be taking on Australia’s Jeff Horn at Brisbane’s SunCorp Stadium.
However, last week the 38-year-old said that he and Khan’s management were in discussions to fight with Bolton, Manchester and Dubai all previously suggested as possible stages for the bout. This came after the Briton topped a Twitter poll conducted by Pacquiao’s camp when he threw the question of who he should fight next to his fans, with Khan garnering 48 percent of the vote.
Khan has not fought since last May when he moved up two weight classes and fell to the much bigger middleweight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The Bolton-native was widely tipped to face British rival and IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook.
Brook’s promoter made the fight his “top priority”, however, talks between the pair broke down.
And Khan addressed Hearn after confirmed his fight with Pacquiao.
“I think Mr Eddie Hearn doesn’t know what he’s on about when he said the fight is not going to happen. I don’t think Eddie even speaks to Bob Arum (Pacquiao’s promoter) to quote the fight between and Manny Pacquiao is impossible,” he said.
“So Eddie stop hating, keep your quotes to yourself and the fight between and Manny Pacquiao is happening.”