“If something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” declared Bob Arum to the LA Times, when announcing that the proposed super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan slated for April 22, had fallen apart.
In a lucrative deal guaranteeing the eight-time world champion $38 million for a bout in the United Arab Emirates, Pacquiao and manager, Michael Koncz, leaped at the opportunity. Arum was skeptical of the deal from the beginning.
“When they contacted me, I told them it was pie in the sky, that this is crazy, it’s not going to happen,” said Arum.
Before the now failed super fight’s announcement on February 27, Pacquiao was slated to fight Jeff Horn, ranked No. 2 by the IBF and WBO, in Australia on the April date. Pacquiao, seduced by the offer of $38 million, turned down the Horn fight and pursued the UAE offer to no avail.
Koncz is traveling to the Philippines to discuss the failed bout with Pacquiao and to review a new proposal from Arum, with an unnamed opponent for a fight in July. It is certain that the unnamed opponent will not be Khan, with speculation that it will be the original pick, Jeff Horn.
Of course, this is all contingent upon Pacquiao accepting Arum’s new proposal.
With the Welterweight division ripe with talent, exampled by Keith Thurman’s split-decision victory over Danny Garcia in a unification bout last week, there would seem to be plenty of options for Pacquiao.
Timing is key at this point, as the limited window from Pacquiao’s “day job” as a senator restricts his flexibility, while the Philippines government is in recess. Unfortunately, this rules out top opponents like Thurman or the winner of Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence.
Pacquiao has told Arum that he wants to fight as soon as possible. On the other hand, if Pacquiao rejects Arum’s proposal, we may not see him inside a ring until the fall.
Arum told the LA Times, “Koncz will meet with Manny, and if he accepts it, we’ll go ahead. If he doesn’t, there’s nothing we can do.”