Amir Khan says he’s willing to fight Manny Pacquiao at the end of this year or in early 2019 after witnessing his former stablemate score a first knockout in nine years at the weekend.
The British former super-lightweight king is heading into the second fight of his three-bout deal with Matchroom Boxing this fall and says once he defeats Samuel Vargas, he can potentially focus on securing the Pacquiao clash.
Khan trained with Pacquiao under Freddie Roach when first dipping his toes into stateside water and was pleased to see the Filipino back to his best at the age of 39.
“Manny looked good, he boxed well,” Khan told Elie Seckbach of ES News in the gym. “It was a great performance and he looked very sharp.
“I think it’s a good time for me to fight him as we are both coming off good wins.
“I have a fight coming up against Samuel Vargas on September 8th, but maybe at the end of the year or next year, it could be an amazing fight with Pacquiao.
“I don’t know what his contractual deal is like with Bob Arum but Bob’s a friend of mine,” he added.
On the performance of Lucas Matthysse, who has since faced criticism, Khan stated: “Manny looked strong but I don’t think Lucas was himself.
“We all expected Lucas to come forward and give his all but it seemed like he lost the fight before he got in the ring.”
At 31, ‘King’ Khan is eyeing another world title shot after seeing his career stall on the back of a loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2016.
It’s been a full six years since Khan held a version of a championship in any weight division and the Bolton man knows he can ill-afford any mistakes against Vargas in Birmingham, England.
“I just want to get this September fight out of the way first and see where I go from here. There are still big fights out there for me. I’ve got the Kell Brook fight also.”
Brook has recently cancelled a return to action due to an ankle injury and would need to fight again before agreeing any contest with Khan.
That leaves Khan free to secure a massive encounter with Pacquiao over the next six months, with promoter Eddie Hearn keen to bring the boxing legend to the UK for a huge PPV event.