Manny Pacquiao-Amir Khan WBO title fight heading for UAE, says top Pacman adviser
Former sparmate Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan training together in Baguio City a few years ago. Gerry Ramos

A TOP member of Manny Pacquiao’s camp disclosed United Arab Emirates will be the site of his April 23 title fight with Amir Khan.

Business manager Eric Pineda confirmed the Arabian Peninsula plays host to the Filipino boxing legend’s defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against his former sparmate and stablemate at the Wild Card boxing gym.

The representative of 1Pacman party list said while both camps had already agreed to have the fight, everything ‘will be finalized next week.’

ESPN.co.UK also reported the venue for the 12-round match is set to be announced this week.

On Sunday, both Pacquiao and Khan took to social media and announced having reached a deal to face each other two months from now in what the 30-year-old challenger described as a ‘super fight.’

“Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #PacquiaoKhan,” the 38-year-old Filipino said on his official twitter account@mannypacquiao.

The latest report meant Jeff Horn has finally been set aside by Pacquiao as a possible opponent after Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes the boxing icon from General Santos City, earlier mentioned him as being next in line for the Filipino southpaw following a deal he reached with the Australian’s handler, Duco Events.

In Pacquiao, the 29-year-old Horn was supposed to get the biggest break of his career that has really yet to take off despite being unbeaten in all of his 17 fights.

Now all that is gone as Khan was handpicked by Pacquiao based on a social media survey he did on who fans would like him to fight next. The native of Bolton, Greater Manchester topped the survey out of the four names listed, with Horn receiving the least number of votes.

[See Pacquiao, Khan agree to 'super fight']

Khan is a former light-welterweight champion who has long been pursuing a big payday fight with the Pacman. He also counts on his Southern Asian fan base, having a Pakistani descent.

The former Olympic silver medalist (2004 Athens Games) is coming off a sixth round knockout loss against Canelo Alvarez in a competitive fight in which Khan moved up two weight divisions to face the popular Mexican warrior for the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title.

Khan currently sports a record of 31-4 with 19 KOs and will be going down at 147 lbs.

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Pacquiao (59-6, 38 KOs) came out of retirement in November to challenge then champion Jessie Vargas for the WBO 147-lbs title belt. The only eight-time world champion in eight different divisions won via a 12-round unanimous decision.

The announcement also came three days after Pacquiao also admitted his camp is currently in negotiations with Khan for an April clash. 

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