Amir Khan reveals his plans for 2017, promises big fight 'you'll all love'

Tony Mogan
Amir Khan

Amir Khan has promised his return to the ring will be marked by a big fight "you will all love", reopening the door to clashing Manny Pacquiao in the second half of 2017.

Khan, 30, has not fought since a brutal knockout defeat at the hands of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May 2016. He also underwent extensive hand surgery in September. The Bolton-born fighter had been deep in talks over a long-awaited meeting with Kell Brook at the beginning of the year, only for disagreements over the split of the purse to shelve those plans for the time being.

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Pacquiao then emerged as a potential next opponent with both men confirming in February a provisional agreement had been made for the fight to take place on 23 April. That too fell by the wayside, with Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum revealing a mystery $38m (£30.6m) offer from an unnamed investment group in the United Arab Emirates for the fight had failed to materialise.

Pacquiao is now set to defend his WBO welterweight title in July against Jeff Horn. Khan, a practising Muslim, will fast from 26 May until 24 June, making any training camp for a fight over the summer impossible.

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But the former light-welterweight world champion has promised his upcoming fight will be worth the wait and is working closely with Al Haymon, his advisor and one of boxing's most powerful figures, to close in on his next opponent.

"Training with Virgil Hunter and Tony Brady has gone great and I've had the chance to work and focus on a lot of things that I wanted to," Khan wrote on Twitter.

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"I want to give the fans the biggest and most meaningful fights rather than just any opponent. I am feeling good and at just 30 my aim and focus is to win another world title. I've spoken with Al Haymon and there are several big fights out there which we're working on, which I am sure you'll all love.

"To give an update, I've just arrived back in the UK after spending nearly four months in training camp in San Francisco. In the meantime, I am going to keep training while I am back home and look forward to announcing some big news after Ramadan."

Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's advisor, has previously claimed Khan's Ramadan commitments meant taking the Horn fight in the interim was a reluctant choice taken by the Filipino fighter.

But Koncz remains hopeful of striking a deal for the fight later this year. "We are working on putting a deal together to fight Amir in October or November either in the Middle East or in the Philippines," he was quoted as saying by World Boxing News last week.

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