Amir Khan, widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the world these days, recently had some not-so-kind words for his former sparring partner and supposedly good friend, Manny Pacquiao. On the heels of the Filipino champion’s unimpressive victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, Khan went so far as to say that Marquez deserved to beat Pacquiao and that Floyd Mayweather Jr. would defeat Pacquiao as well.
Those remarks coupled with Khan making it clear that he planned to move up to the welterweight division soon made some question just how “friendly” these two supposedly close boxers were.
And then there was the talk of Pacquiao’s people not wanting their guy to spar against Khan because of a fear that the two might have to fight one day, mixed in with Khan suggesting he was getting the better of Pacquiao in their last few sparring sessions.
Bottom line: it was a mess.
On Monday, in preparation for his December 10 showdown against Lamont Peterson, Khan tried to clear the air about his relationship with Pacquiao.
“Manny and I are cool. We won’t fight each other,” Khan said, as recounted by Jake Donovan of BoxingScene. “We both train with Freddie and have too much respect for one another. I remember when I first moved to Wild Card, Manny was such a huge help.
“Everything is cool. These rumors keep coming up, but we’re cool. I was with him in Las Vegas the day before his fight with Marquez. I guess people just like to start rumors.”
The truth is, of course, people don’t “just like to start rumors.” People, in fact, like to quote Khan’s exact words. Here is what he had to say to The Daily Telegraph right after Pacquiao and Marquez’s epic third duel:
“It was a close fight,” Khan said. “You could see Márquez had done his homework and knew what he needed to do. When they went into the last round, I thought Márquez was going to win and Manny’s trainer Freddie Roach thought the same.
“I thought Márquez won it by one or two rounds...”
On the topic of Pacquiao versus Mayweather, in that same interview:
“Look, he has so much on his plate, and on the strength of this performance, he wouldn’t beat Floyd Mayweather Jnr. For his sake, we have to be honest...”
Which part of that is people fabricating rumors, exactly?
The truth is, Khan jumped at the opportunity to shots when he felt as though Pacquiao was weak. That’s bright as day. Now, for whatever reason, he is realizing that wasn’t the right decision. And what is he doing as a result?
It’s fine to realize that something you said was incorrect and/or hurtful to a friend and try to fix that. That is something that happens to everyone. What isn’t fine, though, is running away from your own words and blaming others for you saying them.
Clearly Khan is trying to offer Pacquiao a truce.
Will the Filipino champion accept? Probably. But it’s safe to say that he’ll keep a watchful eye on Khan from here on out.
As he clearly should.