Amir Khan is still hopeful that he will face Manny Pacquiao in his next fight, but insists he won’t wait around for the Filipino legend.
Earlier this month, Khan returned to the ring against Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, a comeback bout he won by fourth-round knockout.
In the aftermath, he announced he would be returning to the country for a bout against Pacquiao on November 8, though it appears he jumped the gun with this proclamation as ‘Pac Man’s’ team instantly denied it.
Asked about his Saudi experience, Khan told talkSPORT’s James Savundra: “They’re very, very happy with us and they want us back there again, so that’s the reason we have now announced another fight there which is November 8.
“Looking at some opponents, I would love it to be Manny Pacquiao, if it isn’t him obviously we look at someone else…
“This next fight is gonna be there as we were contracted to that, but I may be back in the UK early next year.”
Amir made his premature Pacquiao announcement last week, while the 40-year-old was preparing to face Keith Thurman.
On Saturday night, the Filipino put on a thrilling display and rolled back the years to defeat his younger opponent, claiming the WBA welterweight title in the process.
Khan continued: “I saw what Manny did on the weekend and looked really good.
“His timing, his work rate, the punch count was very, very high. At the age of 40.”
In truth, Khan could potentially turn out to be a big loser from this performance, as it proved to US fans that Pacquiao still has plenty left to give against the welterweight elite.
As such, it now seems far more likely he will return in a big fight in America, and he’s also said he won’t compete again this year.
Khan clarified: “I was told just before having a press conference by the Super Boxing League team that Manny has signed a contract to say that he would fight me.
“I don’t know who’s seen the signature, I didn’t see the signature as yet, but this is what I was told by the team.
“So obviously I’m gonna mention that something’s signed by Manny and his team for the fight.
“Manny denied that, I’m left in a position where I still have a date in Saudi Arabia on November 8.
“I’m just gonna still carry on with my career, I’m not gonna wait around and wait for that one big Manny fight.
“It’s happened before to me where I’ve waited for Floyd Mayweather for a year and a half and it never happened.”
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will be live at the talkSPORT studios next Friday on the Jim White Show, but if you can’t wait till then to hear from one of the biggest names in boxing you can catch the Bronze Bomber in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 for his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so for more details head to eventbrite.co.uk and you can get your tickets from showfighter.co.uk
Manny Pacquiao turned back time and produced a vintage, scintillating performance to beat Keith Thurman on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The 40-year-old Filipino senator claimed the WBA ‘super’ welterweight title with a split decision victory, though the fact one judge scored the bout to his opponent is hard to comprehend.
The fight started dramatically with both men exchanging wildly from the opening bell.
Thurman appeared to be getting slightly the better of these exchanges, but was then floored in the final 30 seconds of the first by a menacing straight right hand from Pacquiao.
In the second, ‘Pac Man’ blitzed ‘One Time’ with several lightning-fast combinations as he appeared to roll back the years, performing an ‘Ali shuffle’ at the end of the round to taunt his bemused younger opponent
This theme continued into the third as Pacquiao repeatedly buzzed Thurman, who struggled to find a foothold in the contest.
As he went out for the fourth, the American was left in no doubt by his corner, “We need this round.”
While he attempted to deliver and upped his tempo, he was still comprehensively outlanded by the astonishingly aggressive Filipino.
In the fifth, momentum suddenly shifted as Thurman took control by catching Pacquiao’s attention with multiple right hooks.
However, by the end of the round, the 40-year-old regained the emphasis and battered his 30-year-old foe around the ring, leaving him with a severely bloodied nose.
The sixth was a quieter session, much to the relief of Thurman, who had more success and perhaps won his first session of the contest.
He built on this success in the seventh, landing several significant single shots while his foe remained less active.
Normal service soon resumed though, as Manny was back to pummelling in the eighth before another quieter period in ninth.
Entering the championship rounds, Pacquiao was still clearly ahead and put on a big showing to add to this as he staggered Thurman with a liver shot and chased him around the ring once again, as he’d done in the early rounds.
The American survived by the skin of his teeth and nailed the Filipino with some solid shots in the eleventh, but was still in need of a KO heading into the final three minutes.
This never came and instead it was Pacquiao who finished stronger in a thrilling fight, winning by scores of 114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao and 115-112 Pacquiao.
In his post-fight interview, Manny paid tribute to Keith, saying: “He’s not an easy opponent, he’s a good boxer.
“I did my best to make the people happy.
“I’m sure you’re happy tonight because you see a good fight.
“I think my next fight will probably be next year.”
Thurman repaid the favour and replied: “I knew it was too close. He got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one.
“Manny Pacquiao’s a truly, great champion.
“I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe-to-toe.
“It was a great night of boxing, I’d love the rematch.”
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Also on the undercard, Yordenis Ugas, Sergey Lipinets and Luis Nery picked up wins.
You can catch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 at the marquee event of his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so click HERE or more information on the event and get your tickets HERE.
Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman are in ‘advanced talks’ for a potential welterweight title fight, according to reports.
July 13 is said to be the current target date if the bout comes to fruition, with July 20 another possibility. Either way, it will fit in between Pacquiao’s political commitments to the Filipino senate.
When Muhammad Ali stepped out of the ring against Earnie Shavers in 1977, the undisputed heavyweight champion seemed to be the same confident fighter who had revolutionised the sport.
But the terrifying truth is there were times in the final round of the fight at Madison Square Garden where ‘The Greatest’ was completely unconscious on his feet.
Ali was caught flush in the second round with a right overhand to the jaw which he claimed ‘shook my kinfolk back in Africa’.
Shavers, although not necessarily a technically-gifted boxer, possessed the sort of power that scares teammates in sparring and can change fights in an instant.
To this day, boxing is filled with powerful punchers who can render far more skilled opponents helpless – regardless of their size or talent.
While The Ring Magazine have a pound-for-pound list based on a week-by-week point system judging ring skills, this list aims to focus on just pure brute force and power.
So, without further ado, scroll down to see (in this writer’s opinion) the hardest-hitting, pound-for-pound boxers in the world today.
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10. Keith Thurman (Welterweight) – 73% KO Rate
Considered one of the hardest punchers in the welterweight division, Thurman carries the moniker ‘One Time’ with distinction as an homage to his knockout power.
His rise to the top was meteoric with notable victories over former IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz giving fans an indication of just how hard he can punch. Diaz revealed he had never given up in a fight, but failed to come from his corner for round 4 – such was Thurman’s power.
Although surgery on his right elbow kept the former WBC and WBA champion out of the ring for almost two years, Thurman made a triumphant return to the ring with a decision victory over Josesito Lopez in January of this year.
Whether or not he still has the same devastating power remains to be seen, but the 30-year-old is certainly not done yet.
9. Daniel Dubois (Heavyweight) – 89% KO Rate
Dubois comes from a family of boxers, with his two younger siblings making their way into the sport. And if either of them possess anything like the power of ‘Dynamite’, opponents will be hard to find.
It seems slightly unbelievable the unified heavyweight champion would be as relatively low on this list as he is.
However, Joshua is not a one-punch knockout artist, rather his predatory instincts are quite incredible. When his opponents are hurt, the Olympic Gold medallist has shown a clinically ruthless side.
While many considered Joshua to simply be an Adonis-type poster boy, his step-up fight against Wladimir Klitschko proved he had world-class talent.
The former world champion was left bloodied, battered and bruised on the canvas at Wembley back in 2017 after going 11 rounds with the starlet.
6. Artur Beterbiev (Light-Heavyweight) – 100% KO Rate
After 13 fights, Beterbiev has 13 stoppages in the professional game after more than 300 victories as an amateur and all have been truly spectacular.
Callum Johnson bravely travelled to Chicago to travel the Russian for his IBF world title, even managing to drop Beterbiev. But the 34-year-old responded in devastating fashion and the Brit wilted under the pressure in the fourth round.
A potential fight with WBO champion Sergey Kovalev beckons this year and it is unlikely that contest will reach the final bell.
Beterbiev is incredibly strong for the weight class and given his age, seems unlikely to move up the weight divisions. Expect to see plenty more knockouts.
How about this forearm strength from Artur Beterbiev?
After a series of disappointing defeats in his early years, Lemieux established himself as one of the best middleweights in the world in 2014 when he claimed his seventh consecutive knockout Gabriel Rosado.
He destroyed number one contender Hassan N’Dam by dropping him four times en route to earning a winner-takes-all fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2015.
Although the Canadian lost, his power still terrified contenders and he blitzed all comers until he was out-pointed by the slick Billy Joe Saunders.
With his career seemingly on the wane after his fourth professional loss, the 30-year-old proved he still has much to offer by completely folding Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan with a first-round knockout in 2018, considered by many to be KO of the Year.
4. Murat Gassiev (Cruiserweight) – 68% KO Rate
After turning pro just before his 18th birthday, Gassiev moved quickly through the ranks and earned a move to Big Bear in America to train with renowned coach Abel Sanchez.
In his first serious step up against Jordan Shimmell in May 2016, a fight broadcast on Fox, the Russian dismantled his opponent with a truly spectacular knockout.
Murat Gassiev knocks out Jordan Shimmell in the first.
While an instant rematch with Fury now looks to be in doubt, the 33-year-old will demand the respect of whomever steps through the ropes to face him because of his sensational power.
1. Naoya Inoue (Bantamweight) – 88% KO Rate
Naoya Inoue may not exactly be a household name in mainstream boxing conversations, but the man nicknamed ‘Monster’ deserves recognition for possessing incredible power.
If he were from America or Europe and weighed more than 130lbs, there is every chance the Japanese superstar would be considered pound-for pound number one.
Inoue’s incredible skills and ring craft were known long before he made his World Boxing Super Series debut against Juan Carlos Payano last October. But a devastating first round finish sent genuine shock waves through the world of boxing.
The 25-year-old is now considered by many to be one of the hardest pound-for-pound punchers in the world today and is set to face off against Emmanuel Rodriguez in the WBSS semi-finals in Glasgow in May.