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Manny Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez

Pacquiao weighs in four pounds heavier than Marquez ahead of fourth fight with rival

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manny Pacquiao weighed in four pounds heavier for the big fight in Las Vegas, even though Juan Manuel Marquez has grown into the bigger and heftier looking boxer during the past year.

Marquez, who refutes accusations that he has used steroids, has bulked up, at the age of 39, almost to the point of appearing muscle-bound.

Pacquiao hit the scales on the welterweight limit of 10st 7lb for the fourth fight between these two rivals.

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Time to shine: Pacquiao and Marquez square up ahead of the fight in Las Vegas

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

Weighing it up: Manny Pacquiao (left) was four pounds heavier than Juan Manuel Marquez (right) ahead of their fourth fight

The PacMan dedicated this final act in their saga to the victims of a hurricane in the Philippines, where he is a congressman, while Marquez talked about trying to find 'that grain extra' which might finally give him victory after two narrow losses and a draw.

Pacquiao looked concerned, and perhaps distracted by events at home.

He said: 'It is important for me to represent my country in the ring and to win this fight.

'But the reason I have gone into politics is to try to help my people.'

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

In good shape: Pacquiao dedicated the bout to people in the Philippines

Wayne Rooney can handle the flak, says England boss Roy Hodgson (and he should know)

Rooney can handle the flak, says England boss Hodgson (and he should know)

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UPDATED:

22:52 GMT, 6 October 2012

Roy Hodgson is certain Wayne Rooney is tough enough to cope with the intense scrutiny that surrounds him.

Rooney has returned to the England
squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and
Poland after recovering from the gashed thigh he suffered on Manchester
United duty in August.

Back in action: Wayne Rooney has recovered from a gashed leg

Back in action: Wayne Rooney has recovered from a gashed leg

It will be the first time he has played for his country since Euro 2012, for which he was initially suspended, then decidedly lacklustre when the 26-year-old was eventually clear to play.

Rooney's displays, plus an ill-advised pre-tournament trip to Las Vegas have earned further condemnation.

'He's absolutely strong enough mentally, there is no question about that,' said Hodgson.

'We all have to live with headlines – some of them of our own making.

'Young players get a lot of leeway, when you get into the team your performances are judged kindly.

'Then you become an established player, then a top star when people think you are going to win the game – and judgements change.

'Suddenly all the good things are shrugged off.'

Wayne Rooney of England

Wayne Rooney of England

Hodgson's assessment is simple. If you can't deal with it, you are not a top player.

And he has no doubts Rooney is a top player.

'Wayne is a player of exceptional ability,' he said.

'But we put players like that under an enormous amount of scrutiny and pressure.

'The moment he doesn't play like a genius we want to write him off as being hopeless. That is very unfair.

'Football doesn't give you the opportunity to be magnificent every time you step on to a field.'

Hearing Hodgson delivering his answers in such measured tones makes you wonder how he ended up enduring such a difficult week.

Fabio Capello's lack of finesse in dealing with team matters was legendary, the brutal manner of communication partly due to his lack of English and partly because that was the style he preferred.

Hodgson is both avuncular and intelligent.

Yet here he is, botching Rio Ferdinand's exit from his latest squad, first of all by allowing coach Gary Neville to debate it in on TV, then by speaking about it to random punters on the Tube.

'I'm on tube trains walking round London, he's on the TV,' said Hodgson.

'I rarely see what Gary says but I trust him implicitly to say the right things and to be very cautious.

'If he makes a mistake on occasion I'll put him on the same category as myself.'

The Football Association can hardly refute the claim Hodgson messed up on the Jubilee Line, after all, the man himself admitted that.

Up for a chat: Hodgson speaks to fans on the tube

Up for a chat: Hodgson speaks to fans on the tube

However, it is genuinely relaxed about Neville's TV work for Sky, as Club England managing director Adrian Bevington outlined.

'When we hired Gary we were very clear in the knowledge that he is an employee of Sky and will be participating in football programmes throughout the season,' said Bevington.

'From our point of view it is not a problem.

'He always makes sure he is fully up to speed with any issues before he goes on air and we work very closely as a group.

'Gary is a measured person and we think he's doing a fantastic job.'

Hodgson will hope not to make a similar mess of England's forthcoming games, particularly the trip to Poland given his side dropped two points to Ukraine last time out.

San Marino are up first though.

Rated joint bottom of FIFA's rankings, with only one win and three draws in their entire 22 year history, and beaten 13-0 by Germany in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Hodgson cannot adopt the usual diplomatic fall-back of saying there are no easy games in international football when this is one.

'We already have two senior players rested due to suspension and adding to that number is a consideration without a doubt,' said Hodgson.

'We do have to be very careful.

'The San Marino game is the most important at the moment as it's the first we play and we need to win it.

'We should beat them and I accept we are favourites but I'm also thinking it will be a damn sight harder than people think and we'll have to do our job.'

Ryan Moore leads Justin Timberlake Open

Moore like it! Local hero Ryan leaves Love in the shade at Timberlake's Vegas tournament

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UPDATED:

08:19 GMT, 5 October 2012

Davis Love III returned to the day job and found an American who failed to make his Ryder Cup team just too hot to keep pace with at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Ryan Moore was only 40th on the United States Ryder Cup points list but showed his quality with a 10-under-par 61 in his opening round at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Love was also under par, but only three under, and finished the day tied for 29th.

Leading the way: Ryan Moore signed for a 61 after his first round in Las Vegas

Leading the way: Ryan Moore signed for a 61 after his first round in Las Vegas

After the disappointment of Medinah, where as captain he saw his side give up a 10-6 lead to lose the match to Europe over the course of the singles, Love was keen to return to action.

His round was nothing if not steady, with birdies at the fourth, fifth and seventh and 15 pars.

Moore, by contrast, was tearing up the course and the 30-year-old was not the only one, with Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge just one off the pace and American's Tim Herron and John Huh on eight under.

Starting at the 10th, he was seven under through eight holes and almost reached the turn at nine under when his approach to the par-four 18th hit the flag and damaged the cup but rolled so far away he could only two-putt.

Moore's only dropped shot came at the eighth hole, his 17th, but the graduate of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas repaired the damage by making birdie at the next.

Bunker bother: But Moore set the pace after his superb display on Thursday

Bunker bother: But Moore set the pace after his superb display on Thursday

'It didn't feel like a great round early,' Moore said. 'I did get off to a nice start. I birdied 11, 12, 13, and then eagled 15. But it wasn't just perfect, perfectly sharp, hitting it right where I'm trying to every single time.

'I was just hitting good, solid shots and converting. Then on 18, I was seven under going into that hole, and I holed it out and bounced off the pin to about 40 feet.

'That's when it was like, “Oh, I guess I'm playing pretty good today”.

'So it was at that point obviously I felt pretty good making the turn shooting 29. I was just trying to keep doing what I was doing. That was just simply out it in the fairway, give myself chances with my wedge and nine-iron, and I knew I was going to convert some of those chances.'

His round tied the course record. De Jonge, Herron and Huh did not drop a shot between them on a course set up for low-scoring, which saw US pair Chris Kirk and Justin Leonard tied with Sweden's Jonas Blixt for fifth place on seven under 64.

Fijian veteran Vijay Singh was in a group on five under which included Scotland's Russell Knox, the leading Briton.

England's Gary Christian was alongside Love on three under.

Kell Brook targets Ricky Hatton showdown

Brook eyes British blockbuster against Hatton after snubbing Bradley showdown

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UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 25 September 2012

Kell Brook has paved the way for an all-British world title showdown with Ricky Hatton next year.

The Sheffield welterweight, who
faces Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on October 20 in the final eliminator
for the IBF world title, comprehensively outpointed Ricky's brother
Matthew in March.

Impressive: Kell Brook is unbeaten in 28 fights

Impressive: Kell Brook outpointed Ricky Hatton's brother Matthew

And with the senior Hatton making his comeback in Manchester in November, Brook admits he would jump at the chance to complete the double.

'I will be watching Ricky Hatton's comeback with great interest as a fight against him next year would be an absolute blockbuster for British boxing,' he said.

'When I fought his brother Matthew you could see that the Hatton name still means a lot in boxing and we would fill a big stadium fighting for a world title.'

Brook, who is unbeaten in 28 fights, also revealed he turned down the chance to fight Timothy Bradley for the American's WBO title.

Blockbuster: Brook wants Ricky Hatton showdown

Blockbuster: Brook wants Ricky Hatton showdown

Bradley won a contentious decision against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in June and was prepared to defend the belt against the Brit.

But the 26-year-old opted to continue his journey towards the IBF strap.

'The Bradley fight was put in front of me but I believe the mandatory position in the IBF is the right move,' Brook added.

'Eddie [Hearn] has worked hard to get me into this position and providing I beat Saldivia, I'll be fighting for a world title at the start of 2013 and it will be on my terms.

'I would love that to be in Sheffield too and I know Eddie would do his best to get it here as it would be an amazing event.'

Matthew Macklin beats Joachim Alcine

Unstoppable Macklin sends out message as he stops Alcine in first round

PUBLISHED:

07:58 GMT, 16 September 2012

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UPDATED:

08:48 GMT, 16 September 2012

Matthew Macklin restored his position as a middleweight title contender with a ruthless stoppage of Canadian Joachim Alcine in Las Vegas.

Macklin put Alcine down twice in the opening blows of their non-title clash on the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez undercard and the fight was over inside three minutes.

Job done: Matthew Macklin celebrates his win over Joachim Alcine

Job done: Matthew Macklin celebrates his win over Joachim Alcine

The Irish middleweight went in to the
fight on the back of world title defeats to Felix Sturm and Martinez
and he appeared hungry from the opening bell.

He rained in shots on Alcine, who had
only previously been beaten twice, and the Quebec-based fighter was on
the canvas twice inside the opening minute, the first from a clubbing
right he could never recover from.

Getting on top: Macklin came out firing from the first bell against Alcine

Getting on top: Macklin came out firing from the first bell against Alcine

Macklin continued to dominate as the
round wore on, landing more heavy shots that forced referee Jay Nady to
call a halt with 24 seconds remaining in the first round.

Down you go: Maklin sends Alcine to the canvas

Down you go: Maklin sends Alcine to the canvas

Ricky Hatton prepares for November comeback

Hatton steps up training ahead of November comeback as Hitman eyes Malignaggi

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UPDATED:

08:55 GMT, 22 August 2012

Ricky Hatton is preparing for a ring return in November – three years after he was destroyed inside two rounds by Manny Pacquiao.

The 33-year-old former two-weight world champion announced his retirement last summer and struggled with a cocaine addiction, spiralling into depression.

Hatton has since recovered and established himself as a respected trainer and promoter but has always regretted the way his career ended on the canvas in Las Vegas.

Comeback: Ricky Hatton is reportedly set to return to the ring in November

Comeback: Ricky Hatton is reportedly set to return to the ring in November

Reports in the Daily Star suggest 'The Hitman' has lost 34lbs since returning to training and has set his sights on a rematch with WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi who he beat in 2008.

But that ambition is complicated by the fact that Malignaggi is scheduled to face Pablo Cesar Cano in New York on October 20.

But the American feels he has unfinished business with Hatton and is desperate to do himself justice second time round.

‘I’m hearing that Ricky Hatton is interested in a comeback and I’m hearing rumours that I’m the target of that comeback,' Malignaggi said last month.

‘I’ve had three rematches in my career and I’m 3-0 in those rematches.

‘In
our fight, he did very well. I’d like to think there are a lot of
things that I could have done better and I’d like to think that I’ve
made a lot of changes on my team that have really, really brought out
the best in me.

Bitter end: Hatton's career came to a shuddering halt against Manny Pacquiao

Bitter end: Hatton's career came to a shuddering halt against Manny Pacquiao

‘It’s a loss that I’ve had to live with. It’s a loss that hindered me and every day I think about that loss and it bothers me.

‘It’s unfortunate because I should have done much better.

‘The rematch is something that interests me. I have nothing but respect for Ricky, his fans and his family.

‘They were nothing but respectful to me during the entire promotion and I expect nothing less in the rematch.

‘I know that he wants to come back
and win a title to reclaim old glory but it’s my time now and I know I
can beat Ricky Hatton.’

Rematch: Hatton could face Paulie Malignaggi (left) for a second time

Rematch: Hatton could face Paulie Malignaggi (left) for a second time

That fight would form part of a two-fight deal which Hatton hopes will be promoted through his own company.

Should
he come through against Malignaggi, he could seek another showdown with
Pacquiao despite being floored three times against the Philippine in
2009.

Another option for Hatton could be Australian-based South African Lovemore Ndou.

The 41-year-old holds the WBF world welterweight title and said last week: 'Him (Hatton) and I have unfinished business.

'He chose to relinquish the (IBF world) title instead of fight me.'

Ndou drew with Hatton's brother Matthew in England in 2009 in a fight he was convinced he had won.

Paulie Malignaggi challenges Ricky Hatton to re-match

Malignaggi calls for Hatton re-match as rumours of Hitman's comeback mount

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 12 July 2012

Paulie Malignaggi has challenged Ricky Hatton to a re-match after rumours that the Manchester boxer is set to announce his comeback to the ring.

The Hitman, who officially hung up his gloves last year, forced an 11th round stoppage against the New Yorker in Las Vegas back in 2008, but now Malignaggi is looking for revenge.

Rumours of Hatton’s return to the ring have circulated in recent days after he embarked on a strict diet and training regime in recent weeks, resulting in a dramatic loss of weight.

Ring return Ricky Hatton could make a shock return to boxing

Ring return Ricky Hatton could make a shock return to boxing

Malignaggi said: ‘I’m hearing that Ricky Hatton is interested in a comeback and I’m hearing rumours that I’m the target of that comeback.

‘I’ve had three rematches in my career and I’m 3-0 in those rematches.

‘In our fight, he did very well. I’d like to think there are a lot of things that I could have done better and I’d like to think that I’ve made a lot of changes on my team that have really, really brought out the best in me.

They've met before: Ricky Hatton beat Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas

They've met before: Ricky Hatton beat Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas

‘It’s a loss that I’ve had to live with. It’s a loss that hindered me and every day I think about that loss and it bothers me.

‘It’s unfortunate because I should have done much better.

‘The rematch is something that interests me. I have nothing but respect for Ricky, his fans and his family.

‘They were nothing but respectful to me during the entire promotion and I expect nothing less in the rematch.

How it ended: Hatton was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight

How it ended: Hatton was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight

‘I know that he wants to come back and win a title to reclaim old glory but it’s my time now and I know I can beat Ricky Hatton.’

Hatton’s last fight was a devastating second round knockout defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and any comeback is sure to divide the opinion of his loyal army of fans.

Wayne"s foolish gamble: Las Vegas trip before Euros left him a busted flush

Wayne's foolish gamble: Las Vegas trip before Euros left him a busted flush

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 27 June 2012

A little more than a month before he hopes to win gold in the Olympic triathlon in Hyde Park, Alistair Brownlee is in the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz. He is there with his younger brother Jonathan, swimming, cycling and running at high altitude in preparation for the Games.

Little more than a month before that game against Ukraine in Donetsk last week, Wayne Rooney was in Las Vegas. He was completing his very own triathlon. One that included partying, eating and probably a bit of drinking, too.

Brownlee is ploughing up and down a swimming pool. Rooney lazed on a sun lounger in his hotel.
Las Vegas is not renowned for its sporting facilities. There are some fine golf courses and they pump oxygen into the main casino halls to keep the punters awake.

Chips are down: Wayne Rooney in Las Vegas with former team-mate Wes Brown

Chips are down: Wayne Rooney in Las Vegas with former team-mate Wes Brown

But nobody comes out of there ready for 120 minutes of quarter-final action against Italy. Vegas is the world capital of excess. Great fun but not somewhere that lures the finest athletes on the planet a few weeks before a major competition.

Unless, that is, you happen to be Rooney and unless you have a new England manager who probably wasn’t in the job long enough to implement those kind of ground rules.

Before the next World Cup, one would hope Hodgson has a word with his players and asks them not to go anywhere that involves an 11-hour flight and provides only basic hotel gym facilities.

Going to Vegas was not Rooney’s only mistake. That red card in Montenegro proved every bit as costly. Probably more. It forced Hodgson to limit him to half-an-hour of second-half action in the two pre-tournament friendlies and left the 26-year-old striker reduced to the role of spectator as his colleagues tried to sharpen their skills against France and Sweden.

Struggling: Rooney seemed out of condition in Ukraine

Struggling: Rooney seemed out of condition in Ukraine

The value of taking Rooney to Ukraine with them on both those occasions might be worth looking at, too. It enabled him to be part of England’s journey, to be there as that sense of spirit and unity grew.

But his time might have been better served working back here with a fitness coach, just as it would have made sense to ask Rooney to report for international duty with the majority of England’s players before the Norway game and not when Chelsea’s Champions League players joined up. It was just more time for him to lose condition.

In Krakow on Monday, Hodgson dismissed talk of Rooney’s fitness being an issue. This surprised most observers who saw how a purple-faced the 26-year-old forward appeared to be blowing after 25 minutes against Ukraine and Italy; who performed so far below his usual high standards. He looked heavy and sluggish.

Far from his peak: Rooney lacked his trademark burst of pace at Euro 2012

Far from his peak: Rooney lacked his trademark burst of pace at Euro 2012

On Monday Hodgson said there was nothing that had shown up in his fitness tests to cause concern. /06/27/article-0-13C4C601000005DC-270_634x337.jpg” width=”634″ height=”337″ alt=”Ground rules: Roy Hodgson must avoid a repeat in future” class=”blkBorder” />

Ground rules: Roy Hodgson must avoid a repeat in future

In 2006, Rooney was injured. In 2010 he was returning from injury and distracted by problems that were about to emerge in his private life. This time mistakes were clearly made prior to his first appearance at Euro 2012.

But this time they were mistakes that were so avoidable. Stupid, self-destructive mistakes. The red card and the trip to the home of red or black. They are mistakes Hodgson and Rooney must now learn from in an effort to deliver him to Brazil with half a chance of performing on the world stage, a decade after his last decent contribution at a major tournament.

He returned to the US on holiday, this time to Los Angeles with wife Coleen on Wednesday. In two years’ time he must avoid these trips until after the big event.

Stats: Rooney in tournaments

Amir Khan sorry after posting Twitter picture with cash in front of pole dancer

Khan says sorry after posting Twitter picture of him holding a wad of cash next to a scantily-clad pole dancer in Las Vegas

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 11 June 2012

Amir Khan has admitted he was 'silly' to post an online photo of him holding a wad of cash in front of a woman dancing on a pole in a Las Vegas nightclub.

The former world champion, who is a devout Muslim, put the photo on Twitter with the accompanying message reading: 'Let's play lol.'

But Khan, 25, deleted the picture after followers accused him of being disrespectful to his fiance Faryal Makhdoom and setting a bad example to fellow Muslims.

He has now issued an apology in which he claimed the cash he is pictured holding was
fake, and that the woman on the pole was not a stripper but a woman
performing 'acrobatics'.

In hot water: Boxer Amir Khan has admitted he was 'silly' to post an online photo of him holding a wad of cash in front of a scantily clad woman on a pole in Las Vegas

In hot water: Boxer Amir Khan has admitted he was 'silly' to post an online photo of him holding a wad of cash in front of a scantily clad woman on a pole in Las Vegas

After he put the photo up, Miss Makhdoom, 20, tweeted 'Ew. Woke up to something very disgusting & disturbing.'

She quickly downplayed her reaction adding: 'Oh well! I'll still smile through my day. Hehe.'

But when the backlash started against Khan, who she met in July last year, she then took to her Twitter account defending her husband-to-be.

The New York student tweeted: 'Everyone needs to take a chill pill. I am aware of everything my man does. Thanks for the concern. However, there's a big difference between a strip club & a normal club. I think most clubs in Vegas do have pole dancers. Even I knew that lol.'

Backtracking: This morning Kahn took to his Twitter to apologise - although he ended up reposting the offending photo next to his statement

Apology: This morning Kahn took to his Twitter to apologise – although he ended up reposting the offending photo next to his statement

Wife to be: Amir Khan became formally engaged to Faryal Makhdoom at the couple's lavish engagement party last night at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton

Wife
to be: Amir Khan became formally engaged to Faryal Makhdoom at the
couple's lavish party in January at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton

'Also, a relationship is all about trust, not stupid stuff like this lol.'

But she was forced to retaliate when a Twitter user wrote: 'Tut tut. What's the world coming to.
Letting ur fiance dance with other girls and shoving money down their
knickers haha.'

Miss Makhdoom reposted the tweet and wrote: 'Aw, were u there to witness it all Lol damn, I
should hire u to investigate my man. Seems u have a lot of time on ur
hands. Look within before judging others.'
Bride-to-be Faryal Makhdoom reacts to Amir Khan's saucy snap;

Bride-to-be Faryal Makhdoom reacts to Amir Khan's saucy snap

The New York student, then took to her Twitter account defending her 25-year-old husband-to-be

The New York student, then took to her Twitter account defending her 25-year-old husband-to-be

In response to an outraged follower she wrote: 'Aw, were u there to witness it all Lol damn, I should hire u to investigate my man. Seems u have a lot of time on ur hands. Look within before judging others'

In response to an outraged follower she wrote: 'Aw, were u there to witness it all Lol damn, I should hire u to investigate my man. Seems u have a lot of time on ur hands. Look within before judging others'

The couple were spotted out shopping at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, in May

The couple were spotted out shopping at the Trafford Centre in Manchester in May

This morning Kahn took to his Twitter page to apologise – although he ended up reposting the offending photo next to his statement.

'Hi everyone, I want to apologise for the picture I tweeted last week. I admit It was silly of me, but I wanted to make some things clear, first the money I held was fake money the club put on our table and the girl in the back is not a stripper, she was doing acrobatics on the pole.

'It is not a strip club. I wud never spend or waste money that way. I was in a club as a guest but believe I did nothing wrong, that's why I tweeted the picture myself in the first place.'

Just one of the angry tweets Khan received said: 'Sort urself out Amir, when mrs sees this u be knocked out first round.'

Khan later tweeted: 'Just blocked over 100 people on Twitter for talking rubbish.'

In January the couple made their engagement official by exchanging rings
in front of 1,000 of their nearest and dearest at a lavish engagement
party.

They celebrated with a 150,000 bash at the Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium.

Friends
including Ricky Hatton watched as Khan presented his wife-to-be with a
100,000 platinum ring encrusted with three diamonds.

In return, Ms Makhdoom gave Khan a platinum ring.

Fighting talk: Amir Khan and Danny Garcia pose for a photo for the media during the Amir Khan v Danny Garcia - press conference last week

Fighting talk: Amir Khan and Danny Garcia pose for a photo for the media during the Amir Khan v Danny Garcia – press conference last week

During a visit to her family in New York Khan gushed: 'A lot of girls back home have said to me, “Your girl is beautiful” – and that's great because people can be so jealous.'

Meanwhile Khan has vowed to make it third time lucky after Manny Pacquiao dropped his WBO welterweight title to Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao, a close friend of Khan's was beaten for the first time in seven years.

Khan, who intends to step up to welterweight after facing Danny Garcia on July 14, has thrown his hat into the ring after twice seeing a fight with Bradley fall through.

Manny Pacquiao beaten by Tim Bradley after controversial split decision

World's end for Pacquiao as Bradley wins controversial split decision in Las Vegas

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UPDATED:

11:30 GMT, 10 June 2012

Manny Pacquiao has lost his WBO welterweight belt to Timothy Bradley after a controversial split decision victory for the challenger at Las Vegas' MGM Grand.

Pacquiao appeared to have done more than enough to take the decision, despite slowing down in the later stages, but was left stunned as two judges scored the bout 115-113 to the unbeaten Bradley and one handed the win to Pacquiao by the same score.

Defeat must now place the long-delayed but much-debated super-fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr in serious doubt.

World champion: Bradley celebrates after defeating Pacquiao to win the WBO welterweight championship

World champion: Bradley celebrates after defeating Pacquiao to win the WBO welterweight championship

The win improves Bradley's record to 29-0, with 12 knockouts, but there is sure to be considerable discussion about the manner of this result.

Pacquiao's entrance to the fight was delayed, with the Filipino reportedly using a treadmill working on tight calves.

When he did arrive, he started sluggishly in the opening round only to land three meaty lefts in the closing moments to apparently edge it.

What next The hotly anticipated fight with Mayweather may not happen now

What next The hotly anticipated fight with Mayweather may not happen now

What next The hotly anticipated fight with Mayweather may not happen now

Bradley was allowing too many lefts to land, but was working hard to keep himself in the game, landing decent right-hands in the second and third round.

Pacquiao nevertheless looked comfortable, boxing within himself but seemingly controlling the pace.
/06/10/article-2157103-1389282A000005DC-362_634x438.jpg” width=”634″ height=”438″ alt=”On a hope and a prayer: Pacquiao has recently devoted his life to religion” class=”blkBorder” />

On a hope and a prayer: Pacquiao has recently devoted his life to religion

On a hope and a prayer: Pacquiao has recently devoted his life to religion

Bradley enjoyed his best moments of the fight in the last three rounds as Pacquiao's control waned a little and the challenger unleashed an array of punches in the 12th to close on a high.

When the judges returned their verdicts the crowd reacted angrily and began to jeer, while Pacquiao looked incredulous.

Negative reaction from the boxing world did not take long to filter out via Twitter.

Controversy: Many spectators believed Pacquiao won the majority of the rounds and should have retained his belt

Controversy: Many spectators believed Pacquiao won the majority of the rounds and should have retained his belt

Controversy: Many spectators believed Pacquiao won the majority of the rounds and should have retained his belt

Amir Khan, who has been rebuffed by Bradley in the past, was critical of the verdict but quick to offer himself as a potential opponent.

In a series of Tweets, he wrote: 'What a robbery. Bradley did not win this fight. The crowd are booing while he's being interviewed.

'What a joke we had Manny winning by 5 rounds. Bradley how about you take the fight with me in December after I clean up the 140lbs weight.

Belt up: Bradley and Pacquiao share an embrace after the result was announced

Belt up: Bradley and Pacquiao share an embrace after the result was announced

Belt up: Bradley and Pacquiao share an embrace after the result was announced

'If Bradley wants it I'm ready, he turned me down twice. After I beat (Danny) Garcia I will offer Bradley the fight for the 3rd time.'

Khan had previously been critical of the judging in his own defeat at the hands of Lamont Peterson in December.

Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis also appeared unimpressed by the scoring.

He wrote: 'Unbelievable! PacBradley This is another stain on boxing. Even worse than my draw with Holyfield! Disgraceful.'

Disbelief: Pacquiao's hordes of fans in Marikina City, east of Manila cannot believe the result

Disbelief: Pacquiao's hordes of fans in Marikina City, east of Manila, cannot believe the result

Disbelief: Pacquiao's hordes of fans in Marikina City, east of Manila cannot believe the result