A venue in the United Arab Emirates for Amir Khan’s April 23 fight with Manny Pacquiao is expected to be confirmed by the end of the week.
The one-time stablemates revealed they have agreed terms for a matchup, with only the location to be determined.
The Press Association claimed on Sunday that Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title will be on the line, ensuring Khan’s return to 147lbs, and that the fight is expected to be staged in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Dubai’s Sevens Stadium is one venue thought to be in contention.
An early-morning contest in the UAE may be chosen to meet with broadcasters’ demands in different regions.
Khan’s last fight, in May 2016, was at 155lbs, when he challenged Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez for the WBC middleweight title but lost in six rounds. However, he has no concerns about returning to the weight limit that has proved his most natural fit.
He has also long spoken of fighting in the UAE, where he has a southern Asian fan base, and of his desire to test himself against either Filipinio Pacquiao, 38, or Floyd Mayweather, two of the finest fighters of the modern era.
Similarly, after years of fighting mainly in Las Vegas and Macau, Pacquiao has plans to appear in new locations as he concludes his decorated career.
Pacquiao-Khan will represent Khan’s first true encounter with his respected former trainer Freddie Roach, who continues to oversee Pacquiao’s career but who Khan left to work with Virgil Hunter after his 2012 defeat by Danny Garcia.
The 30-year-old previously said: “When I sparred with Manny, he was dangerous. They were hard rounds and I knew then that one day I would fight him. I have been ready for a long time.”
Despite having already been involved in lucrative fights, the timing of his meeting with Pacquiao has the potential to create the most successful period of Khan’s career.
Victory is not as unthinkable as it was when Pacquiao was at his peak around 2009, and a Khan win would usher in a new era in the welterweight division.
Next Saturday, Americans Garcia and Keith Thurman fight for the WBC and WBA titles, and later this year Khan’s rival Kell Brook is scheduled to defend his IBF title against America’s Errol Spence.
Pacquiao-Khan venue in UAE set to be announced – ESPN