Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Amir Khan offered fight with Manny Pacquiao

In a conversation with Bob Arum, as we discussed the visit of Muhammad Ali last week to the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the head of Top Rank revealed that Amir Khan was offered the challenge of fighting the world’s No 1 pound for pound fighter Manny Pacquiao this autumn. By all accounts, his family had turned the fight down insisting it was too early in his career. Khan has come on in leaps and bounds under Freddie Roach, but would he have been ready for an assault on the terrifyingly fast Pacquiao ? - - - - - - -
Perhaps not, but judging by how Roach talks about their sparring sessions, Amir is not far behind. Many will speculate that he is too vulnerable, but you could also argue that the young tyro from Bolton is not too far away from such a challenge. No doubt Pacquiao fans would disagree, but I would give Khan, perhaps 18 months down the line, a decent shot at Pacquiao. - - - - - - - -
Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, revealed that Khan, now the World Boxing Association 140lb champion, had been made the offer – through his family - while talks were going ahead with both Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley as Pacquiao’s handlers sought to sign him with an autumn fight, soon after the Filipino fighter, regarded the best boxer pound for pound in the world, had defeated Mancunian Ricky Hatton at light-welterweight for the first time in his career. - - - - - - - -
Arum, speaking exclusively to The Daily Telegraph, explained: “Before we had signed with Cotto [for the Nov 14 fight in Las Vegas] Amir’s name was on the table, we offered him the fight, but his father, and his family felt it was too early in his career.” - - - - - - -
“Amir Khan has all the attributes of a great champion, and I think he’s going to be a superstar in the sport,” said Arum. “Okay, so he had a loss in his career, he made a mistake, but he looks great now. He was young when he made the mistake against the Colombian fighter [Breidis] Prescott. It was a great performance which won him the world title against [Andreas] Kotelnik, and you can only see him getting better. I can definitely see Amir and Manny meeting in the ring down the line.” - - - - - - - -
Arum, whose days as a promoter began with Muhammad Ali in 1966, but which continue to this say with his Top Rank organisation enjoying unparalleled success with Pacquiao, insists the following Pacquiao enjoys amongst one people – The Filipinos – mirrors the affection Ali enjoyed around the world in his pomp. - - - - - - - -
The problem at present is that the two fighters share a mutual coach, and training facilities, in Roach, who admits that when the pair begin sparring, there is electricity in the Wild Card Gym, in Hollywood, Los Angeles. “It’s like putting a light to firewood, or watching two cocks fighting. They both have killer speed, which is what sets them apart,” says Roach. “For three rounds, it is really fast. And in speed, Amir probably has the edge on Manny. After Manny, I really believe that Amir Khan is my next superstar,” said Roach, who has trained 23 world champions. - - - - - - - -
However, it has emerged in the last week that Khan’s next challenge may be a first defence of his WBA light-welterweight title, with his promoter Frank Warren believed to be in talks with Ukrainian-born New Yorker Dmitry Salita, 27, who is unbeaten in 31 contests. - - - - - - - -
Source : New York Times

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