MANNY COULD BE THE FIRST EVER TO KNOCK OUT MOSLEY, MAY 7 LAS VEGAS
MANILA, MARCH 19, 2011 (STAR) By Joaquin Henson - No fighter has ever knocked out Sugar Shane Mosley and WBA lightwelterweight champion Amir Khan of England said recently Manny Pacquiao could be the first to do it when they clash in a WBO welterweight title bout in Las Vegas on May 7.
Pacquiao holds the record of eight world titles in different divisions and it may never be duplicated or surpassed. If he stops Mosley, it will be another record for the Filipino ring icon.
Khan, 24, is in Baguio City training alongside Pacquiao. He arrived two weeks ago with uncle Tahir or Taz and friend Bill Singh. So far, Khan and Pacquiao haven’t sparred with each other.
“Manny’s just starting his training so he hasn’t done any sparring yet while Amir is halfway done,” said Taz whose brother Shah is Amir’s father. “Amir’s getting sparring with two Filipino fighters. Whether Amir will spar with Manny or not depends on Freddie (Roach). Freddie will know when it’s time. When Amir started training in Los Angeles, he was with his father and a friend. Now, it’s my turn and Bill’s to be with Amir.”
The Khan travelling party and Roach leave Manila for London on April 2. Khan is booked to stake his WBA 140-pound crown against Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey in Manchester on April 16.
“Amir loves it in the Philippines,” said Taz. “He also trained with Manny in Baguio last year. Maybe, it’ll be part of his training routine to come by the Philippines before every fight. But that would be Freddie’s call.”
Roach took over training Khan from Jorge Rubio after the 2004 Athens Olympic silver medalist was knocked out by Colombian Breidis Prescott at 0:54 of the first round in 2008. Since the loss, Khan has won six in a row, including a fifth round technical decision over two-time Pacquiao loser Marco Antonio Barrera.
With Roach in his corner, Khan has claimed the WBO Intercontinental lightweight,WBA International lightweight and WBA lightwelterweight titles to raise his overall record to 24-1, with 17 KOs. Last December, he pounded out a unanimous 12-round decision over Argentina’s rugged Marcos Maidana in a hard-fought title defense that was later cited as the Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Khan dropped Maidana in the first round but was wobbled in the 10th, barely surviving at the bell. Khan displayed grit and courage in holding on to finish the fight on his feet.
Roach said Khan proved himself as a true champion with a big heart that night.
At the Planet Jupiter gym in Makati two weeks ago, Khan said he expects a thriller between Pacquiao and Mosley. “That guy Mosley can punch,” said Khan. “He’s got hand-speed. I don’t know about his legs. When Manny puts on the pressure, I’m not sure if Mosley will know where to go. I honestly don’t know if Mosley can take Manny’s power. I think Manny could be the first fighter to knock out Mosley.”
Mosley’s record is 46-6-1, with 39 KOs. His losses were inflicted by Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Winky Wright twice and Vernon Forrest twice – all on points. Five of the six setbacks were by unanimous decision while one was by a majority verdict.
Roach assigned strength and conditioning coach Michael Vale to work with Khan over two months ago in place of Alex Ariza. Vale is also in Baguio with Khan. Roach hired Vale to work with his fighters at the Wild Card Gym last July. One of the fighters whom Roach assigned to Vale was Nigerian cruiserweight Lateef Kayode.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to work with someone like Freddie,” said Vale. “I’m doing the best I can to pay him back for his trust. Right now, I’m working with Amir whose focus is just incredible. He’s in great shape, mentally and physically.”
Roach said he’s confident that Khan will dispose of McCloskey whose record is 22-0, with 12 KOs. Khan has worked 118 rounds in 25 fights so far while McCloskey, a southpaw like Pacquiao, has logged 132 in 22.
Roach said the future is wide open for Khan. He mentioned that if Khan hurdles McCloskey, WBC/WBO lightwelterweight champion Timothy Bradley might be next in line.
Bradley, 27, has a 27-0 record, with 11 KOs. The knock on Bradley is he hasn’t taken out an opponent since Nasser Athumani in 2007. His last nine fights were settled on points, including a technical decision over Devon Alexander last January, and one was a no-contest with Nate Campbell suffering a cut over the left eye due to an accidental butt in the third round.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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