By Terence Dooley
Birmingham’s Max Maxwell lost out on the British light-middleweight title last Saturday night after being widely out-pointed by current incumbent Brian Rose at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. Still, every cloud has a silver lining and Maxwell’s muscular effort plus bustling style caught the attention of Amir Khan’s team, prompting the former world champion to fly Maxwell, 15-11-3 (3), out to the Philippines for four weeks of sparring.
“King” Khan bids to regain his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles from Lamont Peterson on May 19 after losing out to the American courtesy of a split decision last December. Khan’s father, Shah, contacted “Mad Max” via Jon Pegg, who coaches Maxwell, to ask if the 32-year-old is willing to work with Amir and train alongside the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, which also means training shoulder-to-shoulder with Manny Pacquiao, who defends his WBO welterweight title against Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand on June 9.
“Shah watched Maxwell last weekend and felt he boxed a bit like Peterson so he told us they’d pay him to go over there and work with Amir,” said Pegg when confirming the news to Boxingscene.com.
“[Khan’s trainer] Freddie Roach had a look at Max on Youtube and agreed to bring him over. They said they’d need him to fly out tonight [Easter Friday] so I asked Max and he said, ‘No problem’, because it is a month spent working with top guys. Max was in the Navy so he’s used to being away from home. They said they’ll take him over to Vegas for the final weeks of preparation if things go well.
“Max said the better man won last week, he wanted to go back to the drawing board and asked about getting an English title shot [against current holder Erick Ochieng], but hearing this news is a bigger boost and although he lost the fight last week he’s walking around with a smile on his face. Max would have gone over for nothing to train alongside these guys because it is a great opportunity. There’s talk of the English title fight on the Carl Froch [versus Lucian Bute] bill [at Nottingham Arena on May 26] so training with two great guys will put his confidence through the roof.”
He added: “Max came out the Rose fight and said, ‘He out-pointed me and the better man won on the night’, but he didn’t have bruises or aches and pains, he came out full of confidence because it was his first time on the big stage. Max’s time will come, he leaves at nine o’clock tonight to go and join Amir – it is a real Cinderella story.”
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