Bolton’s boxing superstar Amir Khan defiantly claims there’s ‘no truth’ to the allegation he was knocked out on numerous occasions by Manny Pacquiao.
The two boxers regularly sparred when Khan was at Freddy Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club.
And last month Roach sensationally claimed Pacquiao “frequently put Amir on the floor, knocking him cold four or five times”, something Khan maintains is completely false.
“There is no truth in what he said at all,” Khan told MM ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster fight against Devon Alexander in Las Vegas.
“Manny never hurt me and never put me down. We had great competitive sparring sessions but he never once got close to putting me down.”
Khan also claims to have video footage of the two sparring that proves he was able to hold his own with one of the all-time pound-for-pound greats.
“I have videos which show this and guys who were in the camp at the time have also said there is nothing to it,” he said.
“It got to the point where Manny’s team wanted us to stop sparring together so we didn’t spar anymore.”
Khan has spent the last two years re-building his career following losses at the hands of two US boxers, first Lamont Peterson and then Danny Garcia.
2012 proved to be something of an annus horribilis for Khan. The Garcia loss in July of that year spurred him to leave Roach, who still trains Pacquiao, and immediate results followed.
Khan scored important wins against Carlos Molina and Julio Díaz, before a mightily impressive points victory against Luis Collazo in May.
The Collazo fight was his fight at welterweight and the switch proved shrewd – opportunities to face the division’s biggest names now abound.
Victory against Alexander next weekend could open the door to mega-money fights for Khan, with the much sought-after match with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. looking increasingly likely.
Yesterday boxer-turned-promoter extraordinaire Oscar de la Hoya vowed Khan will get a chance to take either on Pacquiao or Mayweather, Jr. in 2015 – if he impresses against Alexander.
And a match-up between the former sparring partners is certainly a mouth-watering prospect, given not only their history but also their respective pulling power with worldwide audiences.
And Khan says he’d also love to set the record straight against the hard-hitting Pacquiao, who’s scored knockouts in 38 of his 57 career wins.
“Of course, I’d love to fight Manny,” Khan said. “He’s won over 50 fights and we used to train and spar together so I know what he is capable of.
“I also know that I can beat him. If I was to get a chance to prove that then I think it would be a great spectacle for boxing and a great fight for the fans to see.
“More importantly, it would put me up there as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet.“
Image courtesy of visitmanchester, with thanks.