WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and former Junior Welterweight champion Amir Khan have come to terms for a Welterweight title showdown this April.
Pacquiao (59-6-2. 38 KO) pulled a bit of a swerve leading up to the announcement as it was widely believed that the future Hall of Famer would be making a title defense against unknown Jeff Horn of Australia in Brisbane. Over the course of the past two weeks, Pacquiao’s team made it public of their intent to stage the fight in the United Arab Emirates and Horn wasn’t necessarily on the table for that fight.
Last year, Pacquiao defeated both Timothy Bradley and then champion Jessie Vargas as he wrestled with the possibility of retirement and splitting his duties as Senator in the Philippines. Khan (31-4, 19 KO) is a long time removed from when he was a prolific Junior Welterweight champion and is coming off of a crushing sixth-round knockout loss to Saul Alvarez last year contested at a 155-pound catchweight, but is infinitely more recognizable than Horn.
The two know each other very well as they sparred and trained with each other when both were coached by Freddie Roach. This time, Khan will have Virgil Hunter in his corner and a year’s worth of ring rust to have to deal with ahead of his title fight with his former gym mate.
Despite the circumstances, Pacquiao/Khan is a fascinating bout that pits an aging champion at the end of his legendary career against an opponent who up to this point in his career, has failed to capitalize on the major promises he showed early in his career.
As of this writing, there has been no confirmed venue, network or undercard, but should be announced in the coming weeks.