If Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has his way, Manny Pacquiao will be fighting somebody other than Amir Khan in his last career fight this upcoming May.
The founder says he’d prefer to see Pacquiao face Terence Crawford or former two-time Pacquiao foe Timothy Bradley come 2016, according to ESPN. In the end, it’s Pacquiao’s decision, Arum says.
“I purposely kept myself out of it because at this point it doesn’t matter who Manny picks,” Arum told ESPN. “Would I prefer it not to be Khan? Yes, but this is Manny’s last fight. I have a duty to him to present him all of the options. Do I hope he doesn’t pick Khan though? Of course [because I don’t promote him], but I don’t think he will pick Khan.”
Khan was originally seen as the frontrunner to secure a matchup with the Filipino superstar, only to have negotiations fall through for various undisclosed reasons.
If anything, Khan’s name only came up given the potential circumstances of hosting an event overseas, Arum says.
“Khan was an option when we considered having this fight in April in the Middle East, so he was a guy on the table. Now the Middle East is not on the table, but he’s still one of the guys on the table.”
Pacquiao last fought in May, losing a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather in the most lucrative boxing event in boxing history. The Top Rank fighter reportedly entered the fight with an injured shoulder, which required surgery in the weeks that followed the loss.