Amir Khan v Manny Pacquiao
Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao keen to fight but UAE offer simply not on the table, says Bob Arum  Getty


  • $38m offer from UAE investment group was nothing but fantasy, says Bob Arum.
  • Both fighters claimed showdown was going ahead on social media last month.

Manny Pacquiao will not take on Amir Khan in April, according to Bob Arum, who says a $38m (£31m) offer from an unnamed investment group in the United Arab Emirates for the fight has failed to materialise.

Both Pacquiao, 38, and Khan, 30, announced via their social media channels in February that a fight between the two old sparring partners had been agreed provisionally for 23 April. Pacquiao and his promoter Arum had previously been deep in talks to fight Australian welterweight Jeff Horn in Brisbane as part of a round-the-world farewell tour, but an offer from the UAE to bankroll the Khan fight convinced the Filipino icon to abandon those talks and pursue a fight with the Briton.

Top Rank CEO Arum, sceptical throughout the proposed bout, has now described the UAE offer as an "outlandish sum" that was "too good to be true", with the fight now off the table until later on this year at the earliest.

Arum told the LA Times: "When they contacted me, I told them it was pie in the sky that this is crazy, it is not going to happen. Manny wanted to roll the dice. He rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes.

"If something is too good to be true, it is too good to be true. The deal is done for now. [Pacquiao and his manager Michael Koncz] were talking to the wrong people."

Arum has since dispatched Koncz to discuss a new offer with Pacquiao for a bout with an unnamed opponent. Arum added: "Koncz will meet with Manny and if he accepts it, we will go ahead. If he doesn't, there is nothing we can do."

In February, Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-weight world champion, conducted a poll on Twitter, asking his followers to choose his next opponent. Khan was the overwhelming favourite, collecting 48% of the vote. IBF champion Kell Brook and Terence Crawford were also more popular options than Horn, with just 7% of nearly 45,000 votes opting for him.

Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing after victory over Timothy Bradley in April 2016 but seven months later he returned to the ring to fight Jessie Vargas winning the WBO title.