By Declan Taylor, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN claims he is living the life of a Spartan ahead of his crack at middleweight king Saul Alvarez.
Khan hopes to write his name into the history books again, 12 years after he became Great Britain’s youngest medallist in Olympic boxing history as a skinny 17-year-old.
The 29-year-old admits his love of the glitz and glamour of boxing has damaged his career after his blistering start in Athens.
So ahead of his WBC middleweight showdown with ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas on May 7 he has decided to leave all distractions behind just like in 2004.
“I’m living out here in California for camp and it’s just me, my dad and my brother Harry,” said Khan at his modest gym on an industrial estate in a remote part of Hayward, California.
“It’s just like old times, it feels the same as it did before the Olympics, it’s like how it was when I was an amateur. It’s just training, training, training.
“My wife and daughter left six weeks before the hard work started and it’s very tough being away from your loved ones. This has been the hardest camp of my life.
“But this is what brings out the best in fighters, not worrying about what other people want – I’m just worrying about myself and not doing what makes other people happy.”
Khan does his work under the watchful eye of trainer Virgil Hunter.
Even in one of his super cars, the 800-mile round trip to the bright lights of LA is enough to stifle 29-year-old Khan’s temptation to go partying.
Which is just as well, given the toughest test of his 11-year career, against the big-punching Alvarez is now just a fortnight away.
“It’s about controlling it and not going crazy,” said Khan. “In the past I did go a little bit crazy with fast cars and that lifestyle, but I kind of learnt it all myself.
“It’s crazy how that Olympic success changed my life and, really, boxing saved my life. It kept me out of trouble. I’ve achieved a lot and financially I’m very lucky, I’ve secured my future and my family’s future.
“But it’s not about the money, for me it’s about setting my name in stone nice and strong, securing that legacy.
“I think this is the time to do it and this Canelo fight is the perfect chance for me.
“By beating Canelo I will have set my name for life. I’m such an underdog, by beating such a big name I will go down in history.”
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