DOHA -- Frustrated at being passed over by Floyd Mayweather after three years of waiting, former unified junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan is confident he'll land a fight against his friend Manny Pacquiao next year and show his ability to cut it against the best in the world.
Khan, who was invited by the BBC as a TV commentator for the AIBA World Championships in Doha, said that if he weren't to face the Filipino, he would love to fight Timothy Bradley Jr., Keith Thurman or Kell Brook, although he didn't rule out a rematch with Marcos Maidana or Danny García.
"There have been talks between my team and Manny Pacquiao's team to make the fight happen; we're friends, we've often shared the ring in sparring, but in a real fight things are totally different,” said Khan. “My team is negotiating, I hope it can happen but there's a lot to consider. Styles make fights and I'm sure ours will make for a good fight,” he claimed.
If the fight with Pacquiao goes ahead, the silver medalist from Athens 2004 is confident that people will see him at his best. “I'm excited by the prospect of facing Manny Pacquiao. We know what he's accomplished, the work he has done, and if I get to fight him I believe that will take me to the level of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. It would take me to the next level; he's one of the greats and that's why I want to fight him,” he added.
Khan claimed Mayweather quit boxing because age had potentially caught up with him and he was going to lose sooner or later. “Mayweather chickened out, he never wanted to give me the fight in three years. So obviously, after him, I believe Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter. I only want to fight the best”, he said.
Khan explained why he feels Mayweather avoided him and claimed that in his last fight he showed signs of being a beatable fighter. “Mayweather became a beatable fighter. He made a few mistakes in the Berto fight that we'd never seen before; he always used to be very sharp for his fights, but he gave the impression that age had caught up with him and perhaps that was one of the reasons for his retirement,” he said.
Finally, if the fight against Pacquiao does not happen, Khan will target other quality welterweights.
“I'd love to fight [Tim] Bradley, I like his style, that's a fight I hope will happen in the future. Keith Thurman is also a good option, that would be a good fight. Kell Brook as well, I'm sure in England that would be a big event. I'm in a strong position where I can pick some big names but a lot of them don't want to fight me,” he shared.
In the event that none of these fights can be arranged, Khan claimed he would be open to a rematch against Argentinian Marcos Maidana, who he beat in 2010, provided he would fight at welterweight, or even to a rematch with Lamont Peterson or Danny García, who defeated him in 2011 and 2012, respectively.