By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has warned WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan 26-1, 18 KO’s) that Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO’s) is “the strongest, most dangerous opponent Amir has ever faced” and that they have had to train accordingly.
This forced strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza to put Khan through a grueling grind in preparation for his showdown with Peterson at the Convention Center in Washington DC on Saturday in a fight card that will be telecast by AKTV IBC 13 on “Bigtime Bakbakan” at 10:00 a.m on Sunday, and on HBO and Sky Sports on Saturday.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Ariza said Khan “has physically grown out of his shell. He is much, much stronger than he was in the last couple of fights.”
The strength and conditioning coach said Khan “is coming along great . This is the best camp that we’ve ever had and that’s true.”
Ariza noted that when “ opponents prepare to fight one of our guys they take their game to another level so I won’t speculate what’s going to happen. All I know is I have my guy in the best shape and as strong as I possibly could for this fight.”
He said he had pushed Khan harder than ever before and that the 24 year old Briton has shown amazing ability to withstand pain and is now also mentally very strong.
Ariza told us that Amir Khan plans to move up to welterweight and that he really hopes Floyd Mayweather Jr will fight him.
Khan is coming off a 5th round knockout of veteran IBF champion Zab Judah last July 23 while Petersn won an IBF title eliminator beating Victor Manuel Cayo by a 12th round knockout last July 29.
Peterson praised Khan for his willingness to fight in his hometown saying he respected him for it, pointing out that “most world champions wouldn’t do that,”
The challenger said fight fans in the US like Khan who “throws a lot of punches and works the whole fight” but said he is “prepared to go into whatever territory it takes to beat him.”