Amir Khan has seen Pacquiao up close, likes Mayweather
Amir Khan has apparently chosen his lot in big-fight life.
Manny Pacquiao's former training partner at Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Los Angeles has cast his prognosticative dice in favor of the Filipino's imminent opponent -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- when it comes to the May 2 super fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Khan told Sky Sports that Mayweather will "be much smarter and he'll pick his shots a little bit better" against Pacquiao, and could make it a boring get-together with a strategy of avoiding "all those punches and just maybe throw that one shot that will count and then move away again."
But it's hardly the first time he's had Mayweather's name on his lips.
The former British and U.S. Olympians appeared on the road to a meeting sometime in 2014 after a Mayweather-orchestrated fan poll suggested that people would have preferred Khan to get a “Money” match ahead of his eventual choice, Marcos Maidana.
Khan ended up meeting Luis Collazo on the Mayweather-Maidana I undercard.
“I just let it go,” Khan told CBSSports.com last spring. “It has been tough mentally. We kind of turned that around, and we worked it toward our advantage by working in the gym.”
Mayweather met Maidana again in a September rematch after the initial go-round – officially deemed a majority decision for Mayweather – provided a perception that the champion was vulnerable.
Khan was again discussed as a Mayweather foe prior to the rematch, but was unable to fight in September because his training schedule would have been impacted by his adherence to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He was clearly on Mayweather's mind at the press conference after the rematch, though, when the still-beaming unanimous decision winner began comparing resumes.
“When Amir Khan was an amateur, I was champion,” he said. “When Amir Khan turned pro and he got knocked out, I was champion. When Amir Khan got knocked out again, I was champion.
And when he lost his belt again I was still champion, and I'm still right here.”
In fact, at that time, it seemed that a Khan fight was more likely than Pacquiao
“You guys can keep asking the same question over and over again. You're going to get the same answer,” Mayweather said. “My business model is I'm my own boss. If Manny Pacquiao took the same approach he would be where I'm at. It's obvious he's not doing something right.”
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, told the U.K.-based Telegraph in December that Khan's team had turned down a Pacquiao match in 2014 due to contractual obligations. Khan was again mentioned earlier this year as a possible Pacquiao opponent had the Mayweather deal not been made.
Now 28 years old, Khan held International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) titles at 140 pounds before a move up to welterweight that's resulted in consecutive scorecard defeats of former world championship claimants Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander.
“It used to kind of make me really weak, I couldn't hold energy, the power wasn't there and I used to walk into the fight literally, very weak,” Khan told CBSSports.com. “You can always tell how your body is, how your body's feeling. I'm not going to be a small 147 fighter. I think this weight is going to be perfect for me. I'm going to be exactly where I need to be. I'm going to be nice and strong and I'm going to be nice and fresh.”