By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (22-1, 16 KO’s) says he will be one of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners in preparation for the Filipino southpaw’s battle against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr, scheduled for March 13.
According to Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, Pacquiao will most likely train in Baguio City like he did for the “Fire Power” showdown with Miguel Cotto last November 14 before flying to Los Angeles to finish off his preparation at the Wild Card Gym of trainer Freddie Roach some weeks before the fight.
Khan who obliterated previously undefeated Dmitriy Salita in his first title defense last Saturday in Newcastle, England was reportedly being “rewarded with sparring sessions against Manny Pacquiao’’ according to Pat Sheehan of The Sun newspaper in London.
Khan himself said “it will be nice to share the ring with a great, great fighter. It is brilliant to know you are helping one of the world’s best fighters.”
The 22 year old Athens Olympic Games silver medalist whose career turned around rapidly after he decided to train at the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles under the renowned three-time “Trainer of the Year” Freddie Roach said “if Freddie wants me to spar with him (Pacquiao) that means he has faith in me. That can only give me confidence.”
Meantime, promoter Frank Warren has predicted that Khan will have a big future once he begins fighting in the United States.
Warren told The Sun that Khan “has got the ambition to do that and prove himself over there and he will do that.”
After suffering a stunning first round knockout at the hands of comparatively unknown Bredis Prescott, Khan moved over to Roach and has since not only beaten Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera but also won the WBA 140 belt from Andreas Kotelnik in a comfortable twelve round decision and annihilated mandatory challenger Salita in 77 seconds before a crowd of some 10,000 cheering fight fans at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.