By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao would be much more confident if he was the one challenging Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The Filipino superstar still thinks Amir Khan has more of a chance than most boxing observers of upsetting Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs), who is expected to announce Khan as his opponent sometime soon.
“Amir Khan, it depends on how hard he trains,” Pacquiao told BoxingScene.com recently. “He has a chance because he has speed. That’s good for him.”
When reminded Khan’s chin isn’t his greatest asset, Pacquiao referred to overcoming his own struggles as a reason for believing in Khan’s ability to take Mayweather’s punches better than he did during knockout losses to Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia and in fights against Marcos Maidana and Julio Diaz.
“If you look at the problem of the chin,” Pacquiao said, “I had that before, early in my career, and I developed [a better chin]. He needs to train hard if that fight happens. He has a chance.”
Long before Juan Manuel Marquez knocked him unconscious, the 35-year-old Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) suffered a third-round knockout defeat against Rustico Torrecampo in his 12th professional fight, 18 years ago in Manila. He also was stopped in the third round of a September 1999 flyweight title fight by Medgoen “3K-Battery” Singsurat in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.
Pacquiao is very familiar with England’s Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) from the days they spent training together under Freddie Roach at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. Virgil Hunter now trains the 27-year-old Khan in the San Francisco area.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.