In a recent media tour for his autobiography, Amir Khan Fight For Your Life, Khan (34 – 6, 21 KO), says that he may make an exception to his claims of practicing a firm retirement for the right opponent. The former junior welterweight champion last fought in 2022, losing via knockout to countryman Kell Brook.
In the same interview, Khan shared that two fighters he would make an exception for are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, which isn’t surprising given the lengthy rumors of Khan fighting those legends throughout his career.
While Mayweather retired in 2017, after stopping Conor McGregor, he has been active on the exhibition circuit having last fought in April 2023 and is rumored to be in discussions for a December return.
Pacquiao on the other hand officially retired in 2021, last competed in an exhibition match in 2022 and is scheduled to take on Muay Thai star, Buakaw Banchamek, in early 2024. Unlike Mayweather, Pacquiao and his team have expressed interest in the star-making a return to the professional ranks, as well as a return for the 2024 Olympic games in Paris.
“If I was to ever come back…no,” Khan shared. “I need a fight to motivate me. It has to be a big name. It’s a name. Say, if someone said Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, I’d jump to that. Honestly, yeah. Nothing ever materializes because they can never get the money together. Everyone speaks a big dream. The only thing I’ve been offered is real fights. Exhibitions, yeah, but I don’t really believe it.”
Khan shared he had been on several Zoom calls with Pacquiao, though in 2022, Khan came under fire for the results of a failed drug test that was administered immediately after his fight with Brook.
Ostarine, the drug in question, is an anabolic agent. Khan received a backdated two-year ban by United Kingdom Anti-Doping, which is a lesser penalty that reflects the possibility that Khan had not consumed the banned substance intentionally.
“I’m still getting emails and messages about that fight,” expressed Khan. “It’s ridiculous. Listen, honestly speaking, I’ve had chats with Manny, myself, on Zoom meetings. The funding is there… So now it’s come to a stage where it’s getting frustrating. ‘You said you wanted to do this on this day, this day,’ but look, at the moment I’m a banned fighter, ’til April, which I’m trying to fight still. I should not be a banned fighter, really, because at the end of the day, what they found in my system, the reason why they gave me a two-year ban and not a four-year ban, because a normal ban would be four years, because it was unintentional. The only thing is I don’t know how it got into my system.”
Given Khan’s current ban, which doesn’t expire until April 2024, and Pacquiao’s desire to compete in the Olympics, which are held between late July and mid-August, the likelihood we receive a decision on a potential Pacquiao vs Khan fight anytime soon are slim.