Manny Pacquiao open to fight against 'friend' Amir Khan
Last Updated: 04/11/16 7:17am
Manny Pacquiao has confirmed he would be open to a fight against Amir Khan after coming out of retirement.
Pacquiao retired from the sport after winning his rematch with Timothy Bradley on points in April, but will return to the ring to face Jesse Vargas in Las Vegas on Saturday night, with the WBO welterweight title on the line.
The 37-year-old spoke of how watching Gennady Golovkin's win over Kell Brook in September helped him regain his hunger to compete, and a bout against his "friend" Khan could be on the cards in the future.
"I'm willing to fight anybody," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "Amir Khan is my friend and it's good to fight somebody that you know. That's better."
The fight against Vargas will be Pacquiao's 67th as a professional and is his first crack at a world title as a member of the Filipino senate, but he feels he can combine the two very distinct and demanding roles.
"The love of boxing motivated me and also I feel lonely inside," he said. "I realise I can still box and so I decided to change my mind and continue the journey.
"It's not easy (to combine boxing with being a senator), it's hard to balance working in an office and training but I can manage my time.
"This is a very important fight and it's a difficult fight - he's a champion so you can't underestimate him or take him lightly but I'll make sure I'm 100 per cent conditioned, mentally and spiritually."
On the subject of his seven-month hiatus, Pacquiao added: "I thought I wouldn't see you again, but now I'm here to continue my journey.
"I respect Vargas and his team, how dedicated they are. I feel what he's feeling right now because I've been there when I was 27 years old, 28 years old and I know how hungry I was."
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming will aim to claim his first ever professional boxing crown when he takes on Thailand's Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym for the vacant WBO world flyweight title on the undercard of Vargas v Pacquiao.
Shiming, who has been called the "poster boy of boxing" in China, will be fighting outside of his homeland for only the second time when he makes his Las Vegas debut.