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05 October 2023

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao not favourite to beat Floyd Mayweather

Amir Khan celebrates his 12-round unanimous decision over Devon Alexander during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 13, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)

By Allaam Ousman

Manny Pacquiao may be closer to a long awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather but the Filipino ring legend is not the favourite to break the unbeaten record of the American if the richest fight in boxing history does happen this year.

That honour could go to another top welterweight contender Amir Khan of Britain, according to 'Arabian Warrior' Eisa Aldah.

"I say Amir is the first person who can beat Floyd. Of all the fighters only Amir can make it difficult for Floyd," said Eisa during a press conference in Dubai on Thursday.

British boxer Khan holidaying in Dubai after giving Mayweather a five-day deadline to accept his challenge for a May 2 fight seated alongside Eisa chuckled.

But UAE's first and only professional boxer was quite serious and even made a surprise announcement.

"I offer Floyd Mayweather my gym worth 20 million if he fights and beats Amir Khan because he cannot beat Amir," said Eisa, founder and CEO of EMD Fitness in Jumeirah which he founded two years ago.

American head coach of the gym Anthony Wilson also endorsed Eisa's belief that Bolton boxer Amir Khan has the repertoire to spoil Mayweather's perfect 47-0 record.

"Amir is a great champion. I've been watching him for a very long time. I'm a Floyd Mayweather fan but Amir has the skill, experience and knowledge to win. I'm looking forward to that fight (Mayweather vs Amir Khan). I know the speed Amir has is out of this world," said Wilson.

Amir 'King' Khan (30-3, 19KOs) feels on top of the world after demolishing American southpaw Devon Alexander in Las Vegas last month.

Already a two-time world champion, Khan demonstrated he certainly has the 'fastest pair of hands' and great boxing acumen to shut out his rival to win a unanimous decision in a lopsided contest.

"I really believe I've earned my shot against the best boxer in the world, and that's Floyd Mayweather," said Khan who targeting a bout against Mayweather or Pacquiao after retaining his WBC Silver welterweight title in Las Vegas.

He is confident of beating Mayweather.

"Floyd Mayweather is the ideal fight for me. I think he is the best pound-for-pound boxer, and it would be a game of chess, but against Mayweather I would be too skillful. I have the skill and movement to beat him," he said after the fight.

"I think I'm getting better with age. I'm better than I was at 26 and now just starting to hit my peak at 28. I worked very hard and put on one of my best performances."

"I believe I have earned my shot against Floyd Mayweather."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme, he added: "This victory puts me in a great position now to fight the biggest names of boxing - the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao. That's where I belong."

Khan may have to wait until after May 2 to fight either opponent as Mayweather has mentioned that date for a fight against his former stable mate Pacquiao.

"Stylistically, I think that Mayweather does not want me because I have that style which causes him big problems," he said.

Amir Khan is not only walking the talk but has time on his hands unlike Mayweather, 37, and Pacquiao, 36.