MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The proposed May 20 showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates will not push through, says Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum.
Arum, who has always been skeptical of the fight due to financial issues, confirmed to Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News that the deal had fallen apart.
"The UAE fight cannot happen now," Arum said.
Pacquiao and Khan announced on their respective social media accounts on February 26 that they would face each other in the UAE on April 23, but the fight date was later pushed back to May 20.
Arum, however, stressed in an earlier interview with Castillejo that the fight would only happen should "funds materialize," referring to the supposed $38-M purse offered by investors. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Pacquiao's chief adviser, Michael Koncz, is flying back to Manila to inform the boxer of the situation. Arum is trying to put together another fight for Pacquiao, which will likely take place in June.
"All I know is that it (the fight against Khan in the UAE) couldn't happen now," said Arum. "So I made a proposal with Michael on Manny's fight that would happen on the first half of the year, and now it's up to Manny if he wants to accept it."
"It won't be in May, but it could be June," added Arum, who could provide no further details on the proposed fight.
"Right now, I have nothing until Mike talks to Manny," he said.
Arum had earlier put together a fight against unheralded Jeff Horn in Australia for Pacquiao, but the "Pacman" thumbed down that bout and instead pursued the Khan fight.
However, holding a fight in the UAE is not completely out of the question for Pacquiao. According to Arum, it can still serve as a venue of a Pacquiao fight in November. -- Report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
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