Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao’s final fight before retirement could be held in Doha, with British-Pakistani star Amir Khan keen on being his last opponent.
Both men spoke of a Qatar bout after flying into the country to watch the AIBA World Championships this week, which is being held here through Oct. 15 at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena in Al Sadd.
Pacquiao left on Thursday and Khan arrived on Friday, shortly before the competition moved into the quarterfinals.
At a media roundtable yesterday, the 28-year-old WBC Silver welterweight title holder said there was a “75 percent chance” of a fight taking place, adding:
“If it is going to happen, it’s going to happen…Pacquiao is a fight I would like to have because styles makes fights. Me and Pacquiao used to train together as well, spar together.
We are friends but sometimes, you know, friends have to fight each other…I think it can happen. It’s all about just doing the little things, contracts and stuff. I have left it to my team, my team are taking care of it, it’s a good fight for me.”
In separate interviews, both boxers also said that they could see the fight taking place in Doha.
“I would love to come over here and fight,” Khan said.
Khan, who at 17 was the youngest Briton to compete in the Olympics, said that he hoped to see an increased interest in boxing among youth in this region.
“You normally don’t see many boxing gyms around in this area, but I’m sure (the AIBA tournament) is going to get more kids into boxing when they come to see the fights…
The way you can encourage people to get into boxing, is by having events like this, and also having boxing gyms. Without gyms, you cannot create champions…The way forward is by having gyms (but) that’s something I don’t see much here.”
Khan, who will remain in Qatar until the end of the month, will be working with the BBC and AIBA as a commentator, and is scheduled to make a few public appearances, possibly during his training sessions.
Residents eager to meet the boxer should keep an eye on his Twitter page, where information pertaining to any public sessions will be posted.
Speaking to Doha News, Khan added:
“I’ll probably do a media training session as well, while I’m out here…We’ll be just doing some strength conditioning and training…I think what I’ll do is (post) on social media (about) when I’m having an open session for everyone to see…maybe at the boxing gym or at a healthcare facility.”