Amir Khan cannot discount fistic dust-up with Manny Pacquiao

20 Oct

Tommy Barber – London

Friends, stable-mates, occasional sparring partners… pound-for-pound Filipino supremo Manny Pacquiao and ruler of the super lightweights, Amir King Khan, even share the same head cornerman (Freddie Roach) and strength coach (Alex Ariza). There was a time when it would have been unfathomable to pit the two against each other, however, the Briton has stated that he is of the impression that Pacquiao’s camp are now thinking of a prospective match-up

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Hot property - Khan is undefeated in world title fights. Credit: Stacey Verbeek - Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas

“It’s strange,” Khan (26-1-0, 18ko) is quoted by the Bolton News to have said. “There’s tension in the camp. My team are cool and I’m just concentrating on [Lamont] Peterson but his team seem to be worried.”

Both Khan and Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38ko) are currently training in the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, California ahead of their respective world championship defences: Manny meets Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12 in a welterweight fight with a 144lb catchweight; while Khan takes on American boxer-puncher Peterson on December 10 in a defence of his WBA/IBF titles at the full 140lb limit of the super lightweight division.

“His camp don’t want me sparring with him and now we train at different times,” noted Khan. “It’s like they’re keeping us apart. We still see each other when one comes and the other goes, and have a quick chat, but it’s not how it used to be. It’s like his people are thinking there could be a fight between us.”

Such a match-up has already been mooted by trainer Roach. Previously against the idea of seeing his number one and number two pupils slug it out, the knowledgeable 51-year-old has recently indicated that it would be a guaranteed ticket-seller.

Khan’s fight against Peterson will likely be his last at 140lbs before he begins testing the waters of the welterweight pool. A super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr had long been the Bolton volume-puncher’s dream fight, yet he now cannot discount a showdown with his gym-mate: “Manny’s never been on my radar,” said the 24-year-old talent.

“We’re good friends and I’d never want to put Freddie and Alex in that position. I would prefer to fight Mayweather but so many fights happen nowadays you just never know.”

Khan boxes Peterson in Lamont’s hometown, Washington DC at the Convention Center. It will be the sixth defence of his WBA crown and first defence of his IBF belt.

Edit: Since these quotes surfaced in The Bolton News, Khan has issued confirmation that he and Pacquiao: “will not fight,” he added: “We are friends, don’t believe [the] rumours. We have been training together today and everything was fine.”

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4 Responses to “Amir Khan cannot discount fistic dust-up with Manny Pacquiao”

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