Manny Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan? Really?

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Two rumors swept the internet over the long weekend about Manny Pacquiao:
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↵1.⇥That if the Cotto fight hadn't worked out, he might have fought Wild Card stablemate Amir Khan.
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↵2. ↵That if he had ended up fighting Khan, he might have had his hands ↵full, because Khan was whuppin' his ass around the ring back when they ↵sparred before the Pac/Hatton fight.
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↵I confess that my response to both of these rumors is my most wincing, disbelieving… "ninja PUHLEEZE!"
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↵Recently ↵in a comment right here at The Rumble, I made the case that Khan likely ↵would beat Ricky Hatton at 140 pounds right now, and I stand by that ↵assessment. But I don't think there is any commutative property to be gleaned from that statement - i.e. Pacquiao beat Hatton, Khan would beat Hatton, therefore Pacquiao/Khan is a good fight.
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↵That's about as viable to me as, say, this equation - Michael Spinks beat Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson beat Larry Holmes, therefore Spinks/Tyson is a good fight.Bob ↵Arum has said that Khan's team was offered a fall fight with Pacquiao ↵before the Cotto deal was finalized, and they rejected the offer ↵because they thought it was too soon for Khan. Good for them, I say, ↵and though I can't believe that Bob Arum really envisioned a Pac Man/Khan fight happening this year (or ever), it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he actually had floated an offer to Khan's team just to keep Cotto on his toes.
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↵This ↵report, however, that Khan was handling Pacquiao in sparring sessions ↵seems to me like a block of Swiss with a lot of holes. In this report ↵from boxingnews24.com, ↵writer Manuel Perez goes so far as to say that "Pacquiao looked like a ↵child against Khan and was really getting his backside kicked in a ↵royal fashion."
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↵Now… though I never saw Pac spar with Khan myself, I was up in his camp for the Hatton fight doing a piece about 24/7 for the HBO website. ↵I interviewed a lot of people for that piece, heard a lot of eyewitness ↵accounts of what had been going down at Pac's camp. Never once did I ↵hear anyone mention the slightest word about Pacquiao getting bested by ↵a sparring partner. In fact, I heard the exact opposite, that he'd ↵looked fantastic in sparring, that no one could touch him.
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↵There's ↵accompanying video of Pac and Khan sparring at that Boxing News 24 link ↵above, video that Perez cites as evidence for his case. If you watch ↵it, I think you'll draw the same conclusion that I did - that Pac, as ↵fighters often do, was primarily working on his defense at the time. ↵How often do you see Pacquiao doing the peekaboo? Like… never. He's ↵playing a little keepaway from Khan, every now and then engaging him, ↵but for the most part letting Khan get off first, looking for counters ↵here and there, no doubt practicing for what he imagined would be the ↵relentless attack of Hatton.
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↵Drawing conclusions from a minute ↵or so of sparring is never wise. The idea of a Khan/Pacquiao matchup ↵may swirl around the airwaves for a while, although I can't see it ever ↵happening. Khan has absolutely no juice here in the States, and even if ↵Pac could carry him in a Vegas fight as a B-side, I don't see why he'd ↵want to. There are a slew of other interesting B-sides for him out ↵there, and most of them bring more to the table than Khan, and what's ↵more, they're not trained by Freddie Roach.
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↵Nevertheless, let's ↵just pretend for a second that this fight could happen somewhere down ↵the road. Given what I've seen of Khan, I'd say he'd be lucky to last ↵four rounds. And I think I'm being kind to him with that assessment. ↵Sparring is one thing. But fighting… that's quite another matter ↵altogether, especially when you're fighting Manny Pacquiao.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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