Manny Pacquiao vs Yordenis Ugas: Boxing legend says he 'almost' fought Amir Khan

  • Tom Ward
Manny Pacquiao used to train with Amir Khan.

Manny Pacquiao has once again teased British boxing fans with a claim that he ‘almost’ fought Amir Khan and still wants to fight in the UK. 

The 42-year-old has ended his self-imposed exile from boxing and the Filipino superstar will make his comeback against Yordenis Ugas at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 21. 

Pacquiao, 42, and Khan, 35, were once teammates and training partners at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles. 

But after Khan left Hollywood in 2012 in an effort to save his career and made several unsavoury remarks about Roach, cracks started to appear between the pair. 

Khan seemed hellbent on exacting revenge against Pacquiao in 2015 – but according to Pacquiao, an undisclosed issue prevented the fight from happening.  

“Almost that fight,” he told Sky Sports.

“Almost close to have that fight, but there was a problem about something.

“I will not disclose it.”

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But Pacquiao also insists that those sessions they spent sparring together would have had no bearing overall on the outcome of a competitive bout between them.

“Fighting in the ring, inside the ring is different than training,” he added.

“Different than sparring or anything.

“Big difference.”

Amir Khan used to train with Manny Pacquiao

Amir Khan used to train with Manny Pacquiao

He continued: “I hope that one day I could have a fight there.

“I’m hoping that one fight in the UK.”

Having previously never shown much interest in fighting on British shores before however, boxing fans understandably have every right to be sceptical about the eight-time world champion’s claims. 

One wrote: “If he’s to fight in the UK whom would that fight be against? Brook or Khan who are washed up or in the best case scenario Josh Taylor at 147 since Taylor stated last year that he was hoping to face Pacquiao some day?”

Boxing fans react to Manny Pacquiao's claim about Amir Khan

Boxing fans react to Manny Pacquiao’s claim about Amir Khan

Another said: “Khan vs Pacquiao in the UK would be about as good as it gets for me. Therefore it will never happen.”

Boxing fans react to Manny Pacquiao's claim about Amir Khan

Boxing fans post initial reactions to Manny Pacquiao’s comments about Amir Khan

While another was also scathing: “Never happening.”

Boxing fans react to Manny Pacquiao's claim about Amir Khan

Boxing fans dismiss Manny Pacquiao’s claim that he hopes he can showcase his skills in the UK

Former unified super-lightweight champion Khan is also said to be gearing up for a comeback of his own.

GIVEMESPORT recently revealed the former Commonwealth lightweight champion is in talks to face former IBF welterweight titleholder Kell Brook

It’s been reported the bout is expected to take place at some point later in the year, although a venue for the fight has not yet been announced.

Khan’s promoter, however, is open to making the grudge match.

Eddie Hearn told Behind The Gloves late last month: “At one stage it was for the world championship, a legacy fight in the division. Now it’s just a grudge match.

“It’s still great and I’d still put it on myself. It’s still a good fight.

“But yeah, there are definitely talks.

“I think they’re just pitching it out there, their representatives, to say, ‘Who wants to pay up?’”

Read more: Kell Brook claims he’s in talks to fight Amir Khan and brags ‘it’s the biggest fight in British boxing’

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