Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan is one of the potential fights that always gets people talking. If you’re a boxing fan, no matter where you are from, it is very likely that this fight is on your “bucket list” of the fights that you really want to be made. However, it's becoming increasingly unlikely with both fighters now well into their twilight years.
However, due to what Dean Byrne said in his recent interview with SkySports, for many, much of the doubts as to what the possible outcome of the bout may be were mostly dispelled.
Byrne, who is one of Khan’s training mates, has claimed that during Khan and Pacquiao’s previous sparring, which occurred years ago when both were training under Freddie Roach, Pacquiao managed to put Khan down. As Byrne claims, it wasn’t just a knockdown either, but rather, Pacquiao managed to knock Khan out cold.
Byrne added that although he didn’t see it for himself, he knew for sure that it happened, saying that “everybody at the gym knows it”. Now, although there is no definite proof on the matter in the form of photo or video evidence, this is not something outrageous that would be hard to believe. Although Khan is a former unified world champion and an elite level fighter, he has been down many times before. Four of Khan's five pro career defeats ended via stoppage, and two of those were full-on, out-cold knockouts.
The Bolton boxer denies this happened however, "I've been seeing reports that I got put down by Manny Pacuiao in sparring, which is not true. I have had some great sparring sessions. I always look back at the times I had at the Wildcard Boxing Gym in Los Angeles. Manny was a great fighter and still is a great fighter. We must have done 300 or 400 rounds of sparring and I was never put down by him or hurt by him in any way. We had some great sparring sessions."
With Pacquiao, who is considered to be one of the greatest offensive fighters of all time, this fight is quite dangerous for Khan. While Khan has a blazing hand-speed and decent technique, Pacquiao has both of those, but on top of that, he’s one of the hardest hitters of all time among the fighters who share his style.
Needless to say, this combination spells danger for Khan. Despite all of this, Khan has been very vocal, active, and demanding about getting this fight made. After all, who could resist getting a shot at one of the greatest of all time? The fans themselves have also been very eager to have this fight made. There are hardly a lot of flights in boxing that would generate as much interest and money.
In fact, speaking of money, this fight, if it gets made, is likely to be one of the biggest money fights in boxing today. We’ve been seeing this particularly often with the gambling and betting industry. To promote the fight, there were a lot of different pieces of media created all around the world specifically around this fight. There were even Pacquiao VS Khan games made in the form of Canadian online casino slots, with boxing themes and paraphernalia, as well as memes centered around the two fighters. Indeed, the casinos, online betting websites, and bookmakers are absolutely salivating at the prospect of this fight being made. While most parties would have Pacquiao comfortably winning the fight, Khan is an elite level fighter, and the odds would be very attractive as well, and as such, would generate a lot of money for these gambling and betting websites, especially considering how many casual watchers of the sport would feel comfortable with making their first bets with the fight being so big.
This understandable, as Khan would definitely make a lot of people consider risking betting on him. Realistically speaking, Khan is among those boxers that always make you think “what if”. The thing is, when you look at Khan, you are presented with an almost perfect offensive fighter. Khan has speed that is unmatched by almost anyone in the whole of boxing. If we counted Pacquiao out, you would be hard-pressed to find even a handful of other fighters out there who can punch as fast as Khan, and with such impressive flurries of multiple punches at one go.
Additionally, Khan has great conditioning and stamina as well, which allows him to keep in this relentless fast pressure. While his power is nothing magical, he can still definitely pack a punch, and when you consider his volume and output, he does have the ability to put on some serious damage.
Considering all of this, one may think that Khan is a perfect fighter, and should be able to put out pretty much anyone. However, with this amazing set of features, there is one single thing that Khan lacks, and it has single-handedly turned out to be his demise. This one thing is Khan’s ability - or lack thereof - to take a punch, which, as we refer in the boxing community, is his “Chin”.
Indeed, Khan is known to be one of the most “weak-chinned” fighters in the whole sport. When on the one hand you have fighters like Gennady Golovkin and Carl Froch, who could absorb punches seemingly to no end, on the other hand, you have fighters like Khan, who can’t take a punch to save his life. It is really just one of the things that are left to genetics and luck, and unfortunately, no matter how hard the boxers try, there is nothing they can do to change this.
It is not fully clear whether or not the fight will get made. Pacquiao, at 41, is still in great shape and condition and is very much still going strong. In fact, Pacquiao is coming off 3 strong wins with his last fights, with the last one being especially impressive, against a young welterweight champion Keith Thurman. While Pacquiao has only fought three times within the last two years, the wins themselves are impressive, and we can definitely see that he still has a few tricks under his sleeve.
Khan, on the other hand, does not seem to be doing so well for himself, being TKO’d by Terence Crawford over a year ago, with his only fight and only win being against Billy Dib three months after. All this considered, it is clear that if Khan is still hoping to get the fight made, he needs to get creative soon, as time is ticking not only for Pacquiao but for Khan as well.