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Amir Khan and Manny

Amir Khan forced to rule out Manny Pacquiao fight

Amir Khan has pulled out of negotiations to fight former gym-mate Manny Pacquiao, according to a newspaper in Abu Dhabi.

The Bolton fighter was in talks with the 36-year-old Filipino superstar, who is set to return to training before the end of the year after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder following his defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr in boxing’s richest-ever fight in May.

Pacquiao had acknowledged that welterweight Khan was a potential opponent for his comeback bout, but the Briton’s hopes have been dashed with speculation growing that Pacquiao has set his sights on a rematch with Mayweather Jr, despite the American’s retirement following 49 unbeaten fights.

Khan – who sparred regularly with Pacquiao when the pair were trained by Freddie Roach – has revealed their advisors met in Doha last week but were unable to reach an agreement.

The 28-year-old said: “I’m really disappointed in Manny and his team. They aren’t playing ball. All that was left to do is to sign the contract. But they are stalling.

“I have pulled out of the negotiations. I am no longer fighting Manny Pacquiao.

“They know I am a tricky fight for him and they know I will beat him. Or else, why pull out of a fight when there is a lot of money on the table?

“I don’t really know if Mayweather is fighting Pacquiao again. It is a possible reason for him to stall on signing the contract, but I don’t really know.”

Khan is now looking at alternative options for a fight early next year, including Sheffield’s IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook.

“I am not going to wait around for Manny like I did for Mayweather,” he added. “I need to fight and if they don’t want to fight then that’s fine, I have other targets.

“I already had a back-up plan drawn up in case the Pacquiao fight didn’t go to plan. We are looking at a Danny Garcia rematch. I also would like to fight Tim Bradley; that’s another interesting fight.

“A rematch with Lamont Peterson and, of course, Kell Brook is also another option.Amir Khan

“I am willing to fight anyone, but it seems not everyone is willing to fight me.”

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.