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Amir Khan denies being put DOWN by Manny Pacquiao in sparring

Image: Amir Khan denies being put DOWN by Manny Pacquiao in sparring

By Kenneth Friedman: Amir Khan finally got around to addressing the nasty rumors of him having been put to sleep by Manny Pacquiao during their sparring sessions in the past at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California.

Trainer Freddie Roach was a witness to the sparring sessions, says Khan, and he’ll be able to verify what he’s saying.

The former light-welterweight champion Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) categorically denies that Pacquiao ever knocked him down or out cold like he’s rumored to have done.

Khan, 33, even goes further by saying that he’s NEVER been knocked down or out by anyone during his career as a professional. That’s difficult to believe, though, as even the great fighters get dropped and knocked out during sparring sessions from time to time.

Khan says he took some big shots from Manny during their 300 to 400 rounds of sparring at the Wildcard Gym, but he also landed a lot of hard punches as well. In other words, these were given and take sparring sessions between the lightning-fast Khan and Pacquiao in the distant past.

Image: Amir Khan denies being put DOWN by Manny Pacquiao in sparring

Khan denies being dropped by Manny

“I’ve been seeing reports that I got put down by Manny Pacquiao in sparring, which is not true,” said Khan on Social media. “I have e had some great sparring sessions.

“I always look back at the times I had at the Wildcard Boxing Gym in Los Angeles. Manny was a great fighter and still is a great fighter. We must have done 300 or 400 rounds of sparring, and I never put down on him or hurt by him in any way. We had some great sparring sessions.

“He’s a southpaw, and I’m an orthodox fighter. [Trainer] Freddie Roach was there as well. With all these comments from people who are making about I was put down, it’s not true.

“I was never put down or put to sleep by Manny Pacquiao. It’s ridiculous some of the comments I’ve been reading. Look, no disrespect to Manny. We had some very competitive sparring sessions,” said Khan.

It’s late in the game for the 33-year-old Khan to be worrying about what boxing fans say about him being put down in some of the sparring sessions that took place between him and Pacquiao. These sessions were over ten years ago, and it doesn’t matter if he got knocked down.

What matters is what’s happened during Khan’s fights, and he’s done well for the most part. Although Khan has been knocked out four times during his 15-year pro career, he’s made a lot of money, and they can’t take that away from him.

Pacquiao has been knocked out during his professional career a couple of times, so he’s not someone that fans can point to and say that he hasn’t been hurt as well. It’s the nature of the game.

Pacquiao helped Amir regain his confidence

“Toe-to-toe, they were. At times, he would catch me with some good shots, and I’d catch him with good shots,” said Khan. “I have to say that I want to thank Manny because he built my confidence back up.

“When I fought [Breidis] Prescott in the UK, I then moved to Freddie Roach and Manny. It was great to be in the ring with such a great legend at that time. He was getting ready to fight Oscar De La Hoya. He was already a world champion, and then he moved up in weight,” said Khan.

Amir’s first-round knockout loss to Briedis Prescott in 2008 was a huge shocker at the time, as it was supposed to be an easy fight for him. It was a case of Khan forgetting about his defense, and going out there and swinging wildly in the first round against Prescott. The dominant Colombian Prescott caught Khan with a perfect left hook that dropped him.

After that loss, Khan joined Pacquiao at the Wildcard Gym when changed trainers and began to work with Freddie Roach. Surprisingly, Khan didn’t’ stay with Roach. Khan would later lose to Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia, and Canelo Alvarez.

Those were all defeats that were the result of Khan being too aggressive and forgetting about his defense. He was getting the better of Canelo and Danny Garcia, but he got a little sloppy and was knocked out. In Khan’s fight with Peterson, it was a controversial 12 round decision loss in the hometown of his opponent.

Twice in the fight, Khan had points deducted for pushing off. There were a lot of boxing fans afterward that viewed the defeat as a robbery. Khan learned an essential lesson in that fight in making sure he doesn’t fight in his opponent’s backyard.

Image: Amir Khan denies being put DOWN by Manny Pacquiao in sparring

Khan says he’s never been dropped in sparring

“I was one of his main sparring partners at the time,” Khan said of Pacquiao. “At the same time, we sparred together when we went to the Philippines and when he fought Miguel Cotto and Margarito. I sparred with Manny loads of times, and I was never put down in sparring.

“To be honest with you, I’ve been put down in fights, but I’ve never been put down in sparring by anyone. I’ve never been put down. I think you can ask all the guys I sparred with, or you can ask Freddie Roach and the trainers that were there at the time.

“It’s funny that people are making things up that I was put down. I just wanted to make this clear where these stories are coming from,” said Khan.

If it’s true that Khan has never been knocked down or hurt in sparring, that’s admirable because you can imagine all the different fighters he’s trained with during the last 15 years. It doesn’t matter if a guy is wearing headgear or not. You’re still getting hit with significant shots, and eventually, you’re going to get hurt.

It would be interesting to hear what Freddie Roach says about what took place during the 300 to 400 rounds of sparring between Khan and Pacquiao. Back when Khan sparred with Pacquiao, the Filipino star was in the zenith of his career, beating everyone by knockout and looking sensational. For Khan not to be hurt by Pacquiao, that says a lot about his chin.

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