Amir Khan
Amir Khan said he is open to fighting other quality welterweight boxers if he fails to book a bout with Manny Pacquiao next year. Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Manny Pacquiao has yet to pick an opponent for his comeback fight early next year, but reports are all pointing toward British boxer Amir Khan as the Filipino’s next opponent. Khan, who was brushed off by Floyd Mayweather Jr. multiple times, is confident he will get the fight with Pacquiao. He also believes the opportunity to box with his former sparring mate would take him to the next level of his career.

“We know what he's [Pacquiao] accomplished, the work he has done, and if I get to fight him I believe that will take me to the level of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather,” Khan said, ESPN reports. “It would take me to the next level; he's one of the greats and that's why I want to fight him.”

Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) also revealed his “plan B” if the fight against Pacquiao does not materialise. The 28-year-old British said he is in a strong position to pick quality welterweight targets like Timothy Bradley, Kell Brook and Keith Thurman. However, if in case none of these fights can be organised, Khan confessed he would be open to a rematch against Marcos Maidana or Danny Garcia, who defeated him in 2012.

Khan has been heavily rumoured as Pacquiao’s opponent in the latter’s return to the boxing ring early next year. Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum revealed a five-man list of Pacquiao’s potential foes, with Khan being the leading candidate. The British boxer then confirmed that his side has been in negotiations with Arum for a 2016 Khan-Pacquiao clash.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) announced that he will start training by the end of the year for what he plans as a farewell fight before focusing on his political career. Pacquiao, who has been recovering from a surgery that repaired a torn rotator cuff he suffered during his fight against Mayweather in May, said his injury is almost healed, and he could be ready for training in November or December.

"My shoulder is 80 to 90 percent healed and I believe I can start training in November or December so I can fight early next year," Pacquiao told the NY Daily News.

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