Is Freddie Roach trying to set up a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan? A few months ago, this bout would have been completely and totally out of the question. After everything that’s transpired since June, though, seeing these two friends and former training partners square off doesn’t sound like the strangest thing in the world.
Coming off his recent loss to Timothy Bradley, Pacquiao has visibly struggled to find an opponent that he a.) deems worthy and b.) believes can generate a substantial amount of pay-per-view buys. In theory, even with all of his recent struggles, Khan fits the bill in both regards.
Well, scratch that – maybe not both. He can definitely sell pay-per-views, however, in the aftermath of him getting knocked out by Danny Garcia, it’s questionable whether or not Khan is still the top-tier boxer we thought he was just a year ago.
Either way, according to The Moment, Roach is apparently pushing for his two fighters to eventually get in the ring together. Per the report:
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AMIR Khan's trainer, Freddie Roach is pushing for the boxer to step up from the light welter-weight division to take on Manny Pacquiao.
Roach now wants Khan to move up to 147lbs where he can take on stable-mate and good friend Pacquiao.
Khan has previously said he would not fight his friend Pacman, but has since had a change of heart.
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"Fighting at 147 would suit me better. I'd be stronger, more powerful at welterweight," he said.
A few things about this report:
1. The Moment refers to itself as Nigeria’s Most Independent Newspaper. Make of that what you will.
2. In the past, Roach stated repeatedly that he didn’t want to see Pacquiao and Khan fight one another because he didn’t want to have to pick a side. (Although he did later admit that he’d pick Manny’s.) Weird that he would suddenly change his mind about that.
3. Can Khan, given his last two performances, really make the case that he deserves a shot at Pacquiao? Hint: No.
4. Pacquiao is planning to fight Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto in November/December, and then Floyd Mayweather Jr. in April or May – when would he even take on Khan?
So, yeah – not buying this rumor. It kind of, sort of makes sense in theory that Roach and Pacquiao would want more options for future opponents, but nothing about Khan’s recent record justifies him being one of those future opponents.
The Khan of 12 months ago? Sure. The one we saw against Garcia? No way.