Amir Khan has hailed Manny Pacquiao as one of the best of his generation. The Filipino superstar is supposedly set to call time on his illustrious career when he takes on Timothy Bradley this Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Speaking about his former stablemate Khan was quick to praise the eight-time world champion.
“What Manny has achieved in boxing is incredible,” Khan told Premier Sports. “If he does call it a day with his career he can look back and be very proud of what he achieved because very few fighters have done what he has.
“He’s been in top fights, won a lot of world titles and has fought for everything to get to where he has got to so I have nothing but respect for that.
“It’s clear that he is one of the best fighters of this generation and I wish him nothing but the best if he does end his career against Bradley,” he said.
The 29-year-old Bolton boxer who is lined up to face Canelo Alvarez in a megafight at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas next month for the middleweight world title was in the running to be Pacquiao’s opponent this time around.
However, despite intense negotiations the fight never materialised, something which Khan hoped would have taken place.
“You always want to test yourself against the best and Manny is still one of the best around. It’s a fight we tried to make happen between us but for some reason or other it never came about,” said Khan.
“My team met with Bob Arum in London and we had agreed everything but it didn’t happen. It would have been a great fight and backstory but we both have other big fights coming up so are focused on them.
“I have no doubt it would have been an explosive fight but I wish Manny luck in his fight with Bradley,” said Khan.
37-year-old Pacquiao will meet Californian Bradley in a rubber match following previous meetings in 2012 and 2014.
Five-time world champion Bradley controversially won the first one before Pacquiao bounced back to win their second meeting in style, with this weekend’s clash set to be the decider.
Khan has picked the Philippines Congressman to come out on top despite acknowledging the improvements in Bradley.
“I think the fight will be closer this time around but Manny will have too much in the end. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his shoulder injury though and what sort of affect that will have on him,” Khan said.
“Bradley has improved under Teddy Atlas but it takes time to really get to know each other and they’ve only been together for one fight so it’s still early in their relationship.
“I’m interested to see what they have up their sleeve for this fight but I’m sure Manny will be able to deal with it,” he said.