Manny Pacqiao

Pacquiao says in talks with Mayweather and Khan

Doha (AFP) – Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is in negotiations with Floyd Mayweather and Amir Khan for what would probably be the final fight of his illustrious career, he said on Thursday.

Speaking in Doha, where he is visiting the AIBA World Boxing Championships, Pacquiao told AFP a final decision on who his last opponent will be, would be taken by “November or December”.

The 36-year-old is on the verge of quitting boxing for politics and is likely to run for a seat in the Philippines senate next May.

He also told AFP he would like to be the country’s president if it is “God’s will”.

Pacquiao confirmed he is in negotiations with American Mayweather and Briton Khan but said he had no preference over who to fight.

“I will fight anybody, anywhere,” he said. “I am going to fight probably before the election.

“The election is coming next year, May, and before that I will probably have one fight.”

He added: “We are going to finalise by November or December.”

Mayweather actually retired with a perfect record of 49 wins and no defeats following his last fight, a near shut-out points victory over the overmatched Andre Berto in September.

However, very few people in boxing circles actually believe the brash and controversial Mayweather won’t fight again.

Any potential fight would take place in March or early April next year, said Pacquiao, who also told Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera that it could take place in the Gulf.

Pacquiao has been widely regarded as second only to Mayweather in the theoretical pound-for-pound rankings over the last few years.

He has 57 wins, two draws and six losses on his record over a 20-year career.

The Filipino is in Qatar at the invitation of AIBA president, Ching-Kuo Wu, a personal friend.

Pacquiao, who lost to Mayweather in his last fight, said he was free from a shoulder injury he blamed for his defeat and which subsequently required surgery.

Now he insists he is ready for his next challenge.

He used to be a stable-mate of Khan’s before the Briton switched camps, leaving the Freddie Roach Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles to team up with Virgil Hunter at the King’s Boxing Gym in Oakland.

Khan lost his last two fights while trained by Roach but under Hunter he has won five in a row, including a decision victory over American Chris Algieri — a former Pacquiao victim too — last time out in May.

Earlier on Thursday, Taz Khan, the uncle and manager of Amir, told AFP that talks had begun with the Filipino’s management team, but “at the moment that’s all there is”.

Amir Khan, who has tried unsuccessfully several times to arrange a fight with Mayweather, was keen for the Pacquiao bout to happen, said Taz.

“He’s always up for any fight if it’s on the table, he’ll take it.”

The British boxer is also expected to visit the championships at the weekend.

Away from boxing, Pacquiao confirmed his political ambitions.

Despite some criticism from inside the Philippines about his political record so far — he was elected to the country’s House of Representatives in 2010 — the boxer, an eight-division world champion, said he was aiming for the top office.

Asked if he wanted to be president, he replied: “Of course, why not? If that’s my destiny, if that’s God’s plan. Before I started boxing I never thought I could conquer seven, eight weight divisions, who knows?”

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