Pacquiao’s influence shows on Khan
By John F. McKenna (McJack): Amir Khan’s training and sparring with Manny Pacquiao is now reaping huge rewards. Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) added Zab Judah’s (41-7-2NC, 28 KO’s) International Boxing Federation (IBF) Light Welterweight Championship belt to his WBA Light Welterweight belt Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Khan put on a dazzling performance on his way to a 5th round KO over Judah. Many at ringside were not buying Judah’s complaint that the KO punch delivered by Khan was a low blow. Replays showed the punch landing on the beltline of Judah’s trunks, which is a legal blow. It was also noted that Judah’s trunks were pulled up high around his middle.
Khan showed patience and maturity in perfectly executing trainer Freddie Roach’s game plan. Judah fell behind immediately in the fight and never really had a chance against his faster, more aggressive opponent.
Judah has always been known for his fast hands, but against the 24 year old Khan he looked every bit his age of 33.
Trainer Freddie Roach was well pleased with Amir Khan’s performance and attributed much of his success to his training regimen and in particular the influence Manny Pacquiao has had on him. Khan and Pacquiao both train under Roach at his famed Wild a Gym in Hollywood.
Roach thinks that Amir has benefited not only from the discipline of training with Pacquiao, but more than anything else, by sparring with him. Khan’s confidence has grown by leaps and bounds since he began having his gym wars with Manny.
Khan would like to fight again in December, but at this point it is not clear who his opponent will be. He had been scheduled to fight WBC, WBO Light Welterweight title holder Timothy Bradley this July, but negotiations for the fight fell through and at present he has no promoter and his career is in limbo due to legal issues.
Trainer Roach would like his fighter to take on Bradley next because he is tough, unbeaten and he thinks a victory over him would add credibility to Khan. Bradley has a reputation for having a 3rd weapon. He comes in head first and there is always the danger of being cut by one of Bradley’s accidental head butts. Roach feels that Khan will be able to keep his distance with Bradley and that Amir will be more than able to handle him.
Khan’s performance against Judah went a long way in establishing him as a future superstar in boxing. He is approaching his prime as a fighter and will soon be at the point where only one or two fighters in boxing will be able to be competitive with him.