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Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao bout will take place in Saudi Arabia


Khan has pursued a bout with Pacquiao for several years

Amir Khan has pursued a bout with Manny Pacquiao for several years

Amir Khan says he has agreed a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 8 November.

Khan, 32, scored a stoppage win over Australia’s Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia on Friday and immediately talked up the prospect of facing Pacquiao.

A proposed fight between the two fell through in 2017 and Pacquiao, 40, is scheduled to fight American Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“Signed off and done, to get Manny Pacquiao is amazing,” Khan said.

“To have him sign that dotted line is brilliant. No matter how he does against Thurman I still think it’s a big fight.”

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Khan emphasised Pacquiao has “signed” for the fight, though he was uncertain how things may play out if Thurman were to pursue any rematch with Pacquiao in the event he loses his WBA super-welterweight title on Saturday.

“I hope it is him but we will have to look at back up plans,” Khan added. “I’ve always wanted to fight him. It’s the biggest fight out there for me.”

Khan has long wanted the chance to face Pacquiao, one of the sport’s most decorated fighters.

The Filipino is yet to publicly announce any meeting with Khan and has instead used his social media channels to focus on Saturday’s fight with Thurman – who is undefeated in 29 outings.

Khan earned a reported £7m in beating Dib in Saudi Arabia over the weekend and said criticism of his move to fight in the Middle East stems from “jealousy”, adding fighters “would be stupid not to” take advantage of fighting there.

Since returning to the sport after almost two years out of the ring in April of 2018, Khan has scored three wins and lost a controversial world-title shot against Terence Crawford when he was pulled out by his corner after a low blow.

The Bolton fighter was forced to answer questions on whether he quit in the bout but he returned to the ring to beat Dib and now believes he will again feature in an eye-catching contest against former sparring partner Pacquiao.

“When I sparred him he was at his peak,” said Khan. “I got good rounds with him and did really well. I have probably sparred between 200 and 300 rounds with him. He has slowed down a bit.”

Pacquiao holds a record of 61 wins, seven defeats and two draws in a 24-year professional career while Khan has 34 wins and five defeats to his name.

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