By Robert Morales
Amir Khan is looking better and better with each fight he has under the guidance of trainer Freddie Roach. Because of his speed, length and power he would seem to be a viable candidate for a fight against Manny Pacquiao down the road.
But Pacquiao is also trained by Roach. That's why we may never see them tangle even though it would seem Khan could give Pacquiao a run for his money in a fight that would also be a huge money-maker and would bring worldwide attention.
"They are not going to fight each other," Roach said Tuesday. "I'm not going to let that happen because I train both fighters. They are both my fighters and they are like sons to me. How can I let both my sons fight?"
To begin with, Roach said he wouldn't know which one to train.
"It is too much drama to let that happen," he said. "They are like my kids. I've been with Manny for 10 years and I've been with Amir for three years. We have a great relationship. Why would I ruin that relationship?
"There are a lot of other good fighters out there. (Victor) Ortiz, (Floyd) Mayweather, 'The Ghost,' (Robert Guerrero). There are a lot of other good fighters."
That said, Roach spoke like he doesn't believe Khan is ready for Pacquiao. He cited their sparring sessions.
"Manny has too much experience for him," said Roach, who said the two fighters have become good friends. "Amir seems to be better early and then Manny takes over in the later rounds because of his experience."
Schaefer Gets Where Roach is Coming From
Khan is coming off a fifth-round knockout of Zab Judah in a junior welterweight title unification bout Saturday in Las Vegas. Judah was never in the fight as Khan dominated from the opening bell. It was the kind of performance that makes one wonder how a Khan-Pacquiao fight would go. After all, Khan has already said he wants to move up to welterweight, where Pacquiao currently resides.
Khan fights under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions, whose CEO Richard Schaefer said he understands how difficult it would be to do that fight.
"I can appreciate how close Freddie is to both and how both of the fighters are close to Freddie," Schaefer said. "It would put Amir in a terrible situation, it would Pacquiao in a terrible situation. So why push that if there are so many other attractive options out there for either one of those fighters? So there's no need for that fight to happen right now because there are plenty of other options out there."
Schaefer ran off some of the same names Roach did. Mayweather, Ortiz, Guerrero.
"I think Mayweather and Amir Khan is as interesting, as exciting, or Amir against the winner of Mayweather-(Victor) Ortiz because Ortiz might pull it off (in their fight Sept. 17)," Schaefer said.
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, is currently vacationing in Europe with his wife, Lovee, and could not be reached for comment.
Pacquiao is slated to defend his welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 at MGM Grand.
Here's The Skinny
Schaefer mapped out a mini-plan for Khan.
"Amir is going to fight again in December; that's part of his multi-fight deal with HBO," he said. "We are going to be looking at opponents. There is a potential mandatory on the IBF side with the winner from (Victor Manuel) Cayo and (Lamont) Peterson (on Friday in Las Vegas).
"There's a possibility of an Erik Morales, there's a possibility of the winner of Guerrero and Marcos Madiana (on Aug. 27 in San Jose). There are a lot of opportunities out there and if you think about it, it doesn't really matter which one it is; they're are all exciting."
Schaefer said Khan will bid farewell to the junior welterweight division after that December fight.
"Once there is basically no other challenge out there at 140, then Amir will be moving up and fighting early next year in England at 147," Schaefer said. "And then if all the stars are aligned, he could go against the winner of Mayweather and Ortiz."
If the stars want to align, let them align in such a manner that would get Khan and Pacquiao in the ring together. Having the same trainer is not a good enough reason not to let two of the best duke it out.
Oh, and did anyone notice that Schaefer said there would be no other competition at 140 for Khan? Guess he is not expecting Timothy Bradley to be looking for a fight against Khan because Bradley already turned it down once.
Speaking of the man nicknamed 'Desert Storm'
We put a call into Bradley on Wednesday. He returned it with a response to all the trash Khan has been talking since Bradley did not accept a deal to fight him. In this space two weeks ago, Khan said, "I think the only reason Bradley didn't take the fight is because he knew he was going to get the titles taken off him."
After Khan beat Judah, Khan said he thinks Bradley is too scared to get into the ring with him. Bradley scoffed at all of it.
"Every fighter who is trying to get a fight with me pops off at the mouth," Bradley said via telephone. "And then when we get in the ring they get smashed in the face. I'm not afraid of him. If you are a true Bradley fan, you know I'm not afraid of any man.
"He just needs to go enjoy his victory and leave my name out his mouth."
Bradley is currently in litigation with his co-promoters - Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson - regarding the status of their contracts. The two promoters say they have one fight left with Bradley.
Bradley said that once the lawsuit filed against him by Shaw and Thompson is settled, then he'll see about Khan. Bradley and Khan both hold two of the four major belts.
Golden Boy Moving Alvarez Along its Way
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez of Mexico will defend his junior middleweight title against countryman Alfonso Gomez on Sept. 17 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Golden Boy officially announced at a Los Angeles news conference Tuesday. The bout will be televised as part of an HBO split pay-per-view feed that will feature Ortiz defending his welterweight belt against Mayweather at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Alvarez, who just turned 21 on July 18, won his title with a unanimous decision over Matthew Hatton in March and defended it with a 12-round TKO of Ryan Rhodes in June. Prior to those two fights, Alvarez beat former world champions Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore N'dou, but they were both 39 at the time.
This indicates Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KOs) has not yet taken on the fighters that will really elevate him toward stardom.
Schaefer said that will all come soon enough.
"Everything in due course, and I'm sure this is all coming," he said. "He's world champion now and if you're world champion you automatically start taking on the big boys in your division. And he is putting a lot of pressure on us; he would love to fight Mayweather.
"So sometimes the youthful exuberance, you need to say, 'Slow it down, slow it down.' So it's not because of 'Canelo.' "
Schaefer suggested that because of Alvarez's age, it's not fair to expect him to have already taken on the "big boys."
"At this point, 21 years young, very few fighters at 21 have achieved what he already has achieved," Schaefer said, "so he's actually on the fast track, believe it or not. But we don't want to make a stupid mistake, either. Every fight is another challenge for him and it will build towards that goal to fight one of the big names.
"I had discussions already with Al Haymon and Mayweather and they said, 'Bring it on, bring it on.' So that would be a huge showdown, potentially."
A fight with Mayweather would mean either Alvarez would have to move back down to welterweight, or Mayweather would have to move up to junior middleweight, where he has fought once before - against Oscar De La Hoya.
Talking The Talk
Gomez spoke with reporters after Tuesday's news conference. Although Alvarez was hurt early in his fight with Jose Miguel Cotto - older brother of Miguel Cotto - in May 2010 before stopping the elder Cotto in the ninth round, Gomez doesn't believe Alvarez has been tested at all.
"Exactly, and that's when you really become somebody," said Gomez, 30. "Whether you win or lose in adversity, it teaches you a lesson. He hasn't been there. He hasn't been in the deep waters and I plan to take him there. I plan to really teach him what it is to be in the ring with somebody who does not quit, somebody who is just there to take your head off.
"And whatever punches you throw at me, whatever combinations you try to throw at me and you know it's not working, that's where your mental doubt starts to kick in and that's when you really determine if you're champion or not. I plan to take him there and I know for a fact he's going to fail."
Gomez has fought for one major world title, and he was stopped by welterweight champion Miguel Cotto after five rounds in April 2008. Gomez said he has matured a lot since then.
"I got married, I had my daughter, I kind of settled down in life," said Gomez, who fought on the first season of "The Contender." "So there are certain things that really give me the extra boost to push it in the gym, give me that extra energy to really get my life going, get my future going for me and for my family, for my parents, for everybody. But more importantly for me."
Gomez, who is fluent in English and Spanish, knows what a victory over Alvarez would mean to his career, which has seen him go 23-4-2 with 12 knockouts.
"I'm known around the boxing world, but I want to be a superstar like he's becoming and the only way to take it is by beating him," Gomez said. "I have that in my mind every day. Beating him, beating him. I wake up thinking I'm going to beat him, I sleep thinking I'm going to beat him, I eat thinking I'm going to beat him."
He Sings it, Too
Gomez belted out a rap song to Alvarez while the two were on the dais. Most of it was in Spanish, but he finished in English by rapping, "You better fu***ng watch me, you better fu***ng watch me."
Alvarez had no reaction, sitting calmly and stoically as Gomez stood above him. Then he spoke only a few words when it was his turn.
"I'm a man, not a clown," Alvarez said. "I do my talking with my fists up in the ring. I'll show him who Saul Alvarez is."
Dueling Title Fights
Schaefer said he is not concerned about having two championship-fight cards on the same night some 280 miles apart. He said he is certain they won't take away from each other.
"No, because when we went on sale with the Mayweather fight, I think in the first day we sold 13,000 tickets, so that fight is going to virtually be sold out," he said. "It's a different price point as well. The Mayweather tickets are starting at $150 to $1,250. This one (Gomez-Alvarez) is starting at $50 to $300, so it's a different price point; I think it's a different crowd.
"It doesn't take away, I think it complements."
Mosley Future Not Yet Decided
Suzanne Summerville is the publicist for "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who is coming off a very one-sided loss to Manny Pacquiao in May in Las Vegas. Summerville, who also works with former NFL star Willie McGinest, was asked Saturday if Mosley will continue his career.
"That hasn't been determined yet," she said.
Mosley will be 40 in September.