Earlier in the year, as folks were more or less scrambling to find any legitimate opponent for Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan was brought up as a possible candidate. It made sense in a way. given both men’s superiority in the sport and the mutual respect they had for another.
So, naturally, a question regarding this possible showdown was posed to trainer Freddie Roach who works with both men and, obviously, would be “in the know” as far as these matters go. In one of his most emphatic statements to date, Roach made it clear that the last thing he would ever want is a match-up between Pacquiao and Khan. He expressed his love for both men, and said a bout between them would be too much drama.
“They are not going to fight each other," Roach had said. "I'm not going to let that happen because I train both fighters. They are both my fighters and they are like sons to me. How can I let both my sons fight?
"It is too much drama to let that happen. They are like my kids. I've been with Manny for 10 years and I've been with Amir for three years. We have a great relationship. Why would I ruin that relationship? There are a lot of other good fighters out there. (Victor) Ortiz, (Floyd) Mayweather, 'The Ghost,' (Robert Guerrero). There are a lot of other good fighters."
Fair enough. If Roach says it’s a no-go, it’s a no-go. Consider the issue dead and buried.
Or so we thought.
Recently, the good folks from BoxingScene published a fascinating exchange with Roach in which he recounted how someone from Pacquiao’s camp requested that Pacquiao and Khan no longer spar against one another. That in turn made many wonder if a fight between the two men could in fact be the in the cards.
"I think so [I could see it happening]. I wouldn't want that to happen, but Pacquiao is running out of opponents and Pacquiao and Amir would sell. Someone from [Pacquiao's camp'] asked me not to let them spar for this camp," Roach said, via BoxingScene.
Clearly, the prospect of Pacquiao and Khan isn’t as far-fetched as Roach once led us to believe if people from the former’s camp are taking these kind of precautions. They no doubt see the limited amount of fighters out there for the Filipino champion to pummel, and thus, want to leave all their options open.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. would obviously be the first choice for a potential superfight against Pacquiao, but as more and more time passes, it becomes more and more evident that the match will never actually happen. Sergio Martinez might be interesting, although Pacquiao would actually have to respond to him first. And, of course, Bradley seems like the most likely candidate, even though nobody wants him to be.
All of that aside, though, it’s nice to hear that Pacquiao is keeping his options open. A bout versus Khan would be a fascinating one to watch and extremely entertaining on every level.
Here’s to hoping this isn’t all just empty talk, though.