Pacquiao to battle Khan in April

Action Images (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Manny Pacquiao's next opponent is now known.

But he is neither Terrence Crawford nor Jeff Horn.

The defending WBO welterweight champion announced on Sunday via Twitter that he will face Amir Khan on April 24 (Philippine Time).

"Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 (April 24, Philippine Time) bout as this is what the fans wanted," tweeted Pacquiao.
Minutes later, Khan also announced the Pacquiao fight in his own Twitter account.

"My team and I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight," Khan's statement read.
Pacquiao and Khan became sparring partners when the latter still had Freddie Roach as his coach early to his pro boxing career.

Two weeks prior, Pacquiao put up a Twitter poll that helped him in choosing his next foe, where Khan, an Olympic silver medalist, emerged as the poll winner after getting 48 percent of the votes.
Horn, who was initially groomed to become Pacquiao's next opponent, only got seven percent. while Crawford, the reigning WBC and WBO junior welterweight champ, got 21 percent.

A fourth potential opponent, reigning IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, got 24 percent of the votes.

The negotiation for the Pacquiao-Horn fight got stalled after the announcement of the said negotiation was met with mixed reactions and that Pacquiao reportedly wanted his next fight to happen in UAE.

Crawford, on the other hand, is set to defend his belts against a still unnamed opponent in Newark on May 21 (Philippine Time), the same day Brook, whose previously perfect record was tainted by WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin in London last year, will defend his welterweight belt against Errol Spence in Sheffield.

Pacquiao will likely stage his training camp again here in the Philippines so that he can stay focused with his senatorial job.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno