AMIR KHAN has not given up hope of making a fight with Manny Pacquiao. He does however want to avoid a repeat of the experience he had waiting in vain for Floyd Mayweather, which has haunted his career over the last two years.
Speaking exclusively to Boxing News at the World championships in Doha, where he was on broadcast duty with the BBC, Khan said of Pacquiao, “It’s a good fight for me and I know it’s a big fight. Fight fans want the fight. But it seems to me that [I’m] waiting around and I don’t want to be in the same position as I was against Floyd Mayweather. I’d been promised the fight, then it didn’t happen. To be honest with you I’ve just left it with my team, I am looking at other opponents at the same time. If it doesn’t happen I’ve got plan B.”
Khan’s side have not walked away from discussions. “There’s contracts there. But I just want to make sure I’ve got plan B because it seems to me that Manny’s team don’t really want it but I don’t know, I might be wrong,” Amir explained.
They have to explore the Pacquiao option – “He’s the biggest name in boxing at the moment,” as Khan noted. But beyond the great Filipino, other major fights are possible. With British rival Kell Brook, Amir said, “Talks can happen. We’ve had a chat with Eddie Hearn [Brook’s promoter] once about the fight and now it’s all about hopefully seeing what the options are. If a Pacquiao fight doesn’t happen maybe a Kell Brook fight can happen.”
More likely opponents for the near-future are Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, who both hold wins over Khan and are also represented by Amir’s advisor Al Haymon. “Garcia could be another guy, Peterson could be another name, they’re the names we’re looking at so hopefully it could be someone like that,” said Khan, who is happy to avenge those losses. “There were some things I needed to change in my career. I’ve changed those things now, I’m much more of a smarter fighter now. I definitely think the Danny Garcia fight would be a good fight. It’s still a big fight and I know I won’t make the mistakes like I made before. He’s definitely a tough fight. It’s a fight I want. But I just want to make sure [it’s] at the right weight, I know I should have won that fight and obviously I didn’t so it’s unfinished business for me.”
Khan has demonstrated that a loss on a boxer’s record does have to be a catastrophe. He’s bounced back back-to-back defeats to Peterson and Garcia, as well as rallying from an early career loss to Breidis Prescott to became a multi-titled world champion. “You become a better fighter,” he insists. “Having a loss in my career has definitely made me a better fighter. You learn from your mistakes and you learn not to make them again. You go back to the drawing board and you make sure you do the right things next time.”
The losses have also never stymied his desire to take on the very best in the sport. “I’m not a protected fighter,” he said. “If I was a protected fighter I’d maybe be unbeaten now. So I’ve never been a protected fighter. I’m one of those guys who fights the best fighters out there.”