British boxing star Amir Khan said Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and reigning IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook are among the prospective opponents for his much-anticipated return to the ring come November.
“I will announce a fight within the next one month. I am in talks with a few people, Manny Pacquiao is one name, Kell Brook is another,” the former world champion, who is in India to promote the soon-to-be-launched Super Boxing League, told PTI.
Amir was to take on Pacquiao last month but the fight was called off after promoters failed to strike an acceptable deal for both the boxers. Amir has, however, insisted that it was Pacquiao who backed out.
Asked specifically about a showdown with fellow Brit Brook, who he hasn’t faced as yet despite long-standing verbal hostilities, Khan said the time finally seems right for a face-off inside the ring.
“It’s time now that I put him in his place. The reason the fight hasn’t happened till now is because he is fighting in June. That is a mandatory fight. Then after that maybe we fight. I am one fighter who has never turned anyone down. I fight anybody put in front of me. So let’s see,” said the boxer, who is fit again after recovering from a hand surgery. Amir’s Super Boxing League will take off on July 7. The franchise-based event will feature eight teams and Amir said most of the boxers on show would be fresh faces.
“We want to help the grassroots boxers. To be honest this is new. In the future we might bring boxers from England, Pakistan and all over. There are going to be fresh faces,” he said.
Amir said he is disappointed with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for backing out from its initial support to SBL after the Boxing Federation of India refused to allow its boxers in the event.
“I was feeling quite let down by AIBA. I wanted to be good with them. But we might do something in the future.
“This one is a professional league, and World Boxing Council (WBC) wants to support us. They said ‘if AIBA don’t want to help, we will help you’. Things happen for a reason,” he said.
The headline-grabbing possibility of a clash between him and Indian star Vijender Singh is often brought up with Amir but even he acknowledges that it is a very distant possibility as of now.
While Amir is a welterweight boxer, Vijender competes in the super middleweight division.
Amir said even if the fight doesn’t happen, he is keen to support the Indian.
“Even if the fight doesn’t happen, I would love to support Vijender in any way to help him become a world champion,” he said.
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