Khan and Pacquiao, fresh from crowning himself WBA welterweight king, used to be stablemates under trainer Freddie Roach.
But Khan insists that while they develop some kind of a bond during that time. “You just have to put friendship to the side,” the 31-year-old Khan told TMZ.
“It’s business. I respect him. I think he’s a great guy. He’s done great things in the sport and you have to respect him for that. I respect him, but I know I can beat him,” said Khan (32-4 with 20 KOs), who is of Pakistani lineage.
Pacquiao (60-7-2 with 39 KOs) stopped Lucas Matthysse of Argentina in the seventh round last July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, the Filipino legend’s first abbreviated victory in almost ten years.
Following his smashing showing, Pacquiao rattled off some names as potential foes, including that of Khan, the 2004 Athens Olympics silver medalist at lightweight.
“It’s one of the bigger money fights out there, but it all depends on Manny Pacquiao’s team,” said Khan, who sparred with Pacquiao in the Philippines and in the US.
“Look, Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. I’ve been around training with him for many years. But sometimes friends have to fight each other. I think it will be an explosive fight.”
Pacquiao, who is pushing 40, is eyeing a ring return in December.
Apart from Khan, also being looked at are American Terence Crawford and Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko of Top Rank and Puerto Rican Danny Garcia.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco, Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks