World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed to WBN this week that any proposed spring fight between Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao would be sanctioned as a final eliminator.
Khan 28, recently suggested that he will focus his attention on securing a clash with the Filipino after missing out of facing current WBC champion Floyd Mayweather for the third time and has now been handed an alternative route to the ‘Money’ man.
Pacquiao is recovering from shoulder surgery having lost to Mayweather in May of this year, with advisor Michael Koncz stating that the eight-weight champion may fight again in February or March of 2016. That could be workable for Khan should the Briton arrange a stay-busy outing for around November time and then set-up a massive contest in Asia or the Middle East.
As Pacquiao was ranked number one before his bout with Mayweather and Khan currently occupies that spot, the winner would then be mandated to face Mayweather should the pound for pound king stave off retirement and extend his career another year.
“Absolutely, the fight could be a final elimination,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News when asked directly about Khan versus Pacquiao.
“Amir Khan is the silver champion and a wonderful fighter and a true representative of the best of boxing. Amir Khan has always been very loyal to the WBC, and of course, any fight with Manny Pacquiao could be a final elimination for the WBC welterweight title – without a doubt.”
Despite being out in recovery, Congressman Pacquiao is still highly regarded as one of the top fighters in the world and Sulaiman says there would be no hesitation in re-ranking the ‘Pacman’ once he is fully fit and raring to go,
“Pacquiao is an elite fighter. There are no doubts about his ability and his great stature as a fighter, so that is absolutely no issue,” said Sulaiman.
“I saw that he could soon be back in the ring (early 2016) and Pacquiao is a fighter that deserves the opportunity because he is a legendary fighter.
“If he would have retired after the Mayweather fight that would not have been fair to his legacy,” he added.
Mayweather, 38, is still adamant that he will step away from boxing on September 12 once the final bell rings on his pay-per-view offering with Andre Berto – which may well mean Khan and Pacquiao would then meet for the vacant title.
All that’s left now is for Khan and Pacquiao to sign on the dotted line.