Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez is two days away, and when you promote a big fight, you gotta talk about everything. There’s only so many times they can go over the angle of the trilogy and the chances of a Floyd Mayweather fight. So now, Freddie Roach uses Amir Khan as a promotional tool.
Amir Khan (26-1) is a 24 year old fighter from the UK, the WBA and IBF Light-Welterweight champion. He has a fight with Lamont Peterson next month, supposedly his final fight before he moves on to Welterweight. Khan has been vocal about the opponent he wants to see in 2012 – Floyd Mayweather, hoping to get a shot at him after he gets a “warm up” welterweight bout.
What about Manny Pacquiao? That’s got to be a dream too, right? Not too certain. You see, up until a few months ago, Khan, who’s also trained by Freddie Roach, was Pacquiao’s sparring partner, and two are, or were, pretty good friends. So reason one – Friends don’t usually want to fight each other. And when they do, it makes for pretty boring fights, most of the time. Just look at Lucian Bute vs Glen Johnson from last weekend, with Bute pretty much holding himself back against the 42 year old Jamaican.
But friendship isn’t the only reason. Khan, who’s seen Pacquiao up close in the gym, at least that’s what rumors say, knows he can’t beat Manny, not right now. Mayweather? I guess he thinks he’s ready for the biggest challenge of his career. But where did this whole Pacquiao – Khan option begin?
Well, according to Roach, after Khan beat Zab Judah, giving him his biggest exposure to American audiences and boxing fans, it seemed for people in the Pacquiao camp that Khan might be soon be in a place where he can challenge many, and that didn’t sit too well with his entourage, encouraging Pacquiao to find another sparring partner.
Either way, Roach says that Khan will get a shot at Manny Pacquiao only if he gets to beat Floyd Mayweather. Him personally? Roach is against the two fighting each other, but as he said – Never say never in Boxing. With big fights becoming harder and harder to find for Manny Pacquiao, an opportunity to fight a more proven Khan in the future, with all of its financial benefits, will be too good to turn down.