EXCLUSIVE Amir Khan intends to force showdown with Manny Pacquiao

Amir Khan Samuel Vargas
Action Images/Craig Brough
Amir Khan needs to win his next fight to keep those hopes of boxing Manny Pacquiao alive, writes John Dennen

HE’S been pushing for the Manny Pacquiao fight for a long, long time. But Amir Khan believes his September 8 clash with Samuel Vargas with finally pave the way for that showdown. Khan and Pacquiao were sparring partners when they both trained with Freddie Roach. Since he moved on to a new trainer he’s been clamouring to get Pacquiao in a prizefight. The legendary “Pacman” boxes Lucas Matthysse for a WBA welterweight title next month and Khan expects his bout with Vargas in Birmingham to be made an eliminator for that belt.

Speaking exclusively to Boxing News, Khan said, “We’ve tried to get the Manny Pacquiao fight for many years. We are going to force it. Manny Pacquiao or Lucas Matthysse, I’m forcing a position to be a world champion again. Because none of these world champions want to give me a chance so it’s like me forcing my way and becoming the mandatory, beating the guys on the way to those titles.”

That dream could be upended if Matthysse were to beat Pacquiao. But Amir doesn’t expect that to happen. “It doesn’t matter, whoever wins that fight I’m going to fight. Matthysse in my opinion is a good fighter. A rugged fighter. Manny Pacquiao in my opinion is the best out of the two. So let’s see,” he said.

Amir Khan

Therefore the stakes for his next fight are all the higher. He can’t afford to lose when he fights Vargas at the Arena Birmingham. “Every fight is a threat. I’m not lying. When Breidis Precott came to the UK he was nowhere near a threat to me. He knocked me out in the first round. Anything in boxing can happen,” Khan said.

“He [Vargas] seems confident. He thinks he’s going to win, he thinks he’s going to beat me. Look, he’s lost two or three fights in his career, winning 29 of them. So you have to show a little bit of respect. He’s been in with the big opposition [Errol Spence and Danny Garcia], he didn’t beat them obviously but this could be his chance. I’ll be giving him a full training camp for this fight. We’re giving him a full 10 week training camp. So I’m sure he’s going to be more than ready.”

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