Manny Pacquiao talks with Amir Khan called off due to Ramadan impact as he agrees to fight Jeff Horn

Khan cannot fight for a month between May and June due to his religious beliefs

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The Independent Online

Filipino great Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane in July after a bout with Amir Khan fell through, local media reported.

"We're not able to fight Amir Khan because of Ramadan, so we decided to take this fight in the interim," Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said in comments published by News Corp media.

"We signed it, so yeah, we're excited about it. But again, my preference was to fight Amir Khan. That didn't work out. We had this on the table so we decided to take it."

Bolton-born Khan is a practising Muslim and will fast from May 26 until June 24, which would have had a major impact on his fight camp for a July bout with Pacquiao.

Eight-division world champion Pacquiao agreed to an April fight against Briton Khan in the United Arab Emirates but his promoter Bob Arum said last month it had been postponed after the $38m offer for the bout failed to materialise.

The July 2 fight against Horn will be the 38-year-old Pacquiao's first since his unanimous decision victory for the title over American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas last November.

"Manny will train and do the best he can and hopefully we get the fight over with very quickly, we get out of there, we say 'hi' to the Australian fans and media and come home," Koncz said.

"Frankly and honestly, and nothing against Jeff Horn – I've never met the kid, I don't know him personally – but the name recognition is I guess why the fans picked Amir Khan."

In February, Philippines senator Pacquiao (59-6-2) asked fans on Twitter who he should fight next in a four-man poll and 48 per cent of the respondents voted for Khan.

Horn (16-0-1) won seven per cent behind Briton Kell Brook (24 per cent) and American Terence Crawford (21).

Reuters

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