Amir Khan has revealed for the first time the true extent of what sparring Manny Pacquiao really did for him on a personal and professional note when at the time – Pacquiao was the pound for pound number one.
Fast forward a few years and now the two are linked with a possible fight against one another.
Speaking to the Toe To Toe podcast Khan said:
‘I learned a lot. At that time I did learn a lot because when I went to Freddie’s (Roach) gym in the Wild Card in LA. It was a time when I lost(knocked out) to (Bredis) Prescott. My confidence was from there boom (high) to right there (low). I was at the lowest of my career. To spar with someone like Manny Pacquiao who at the time was the pound for pound number one and going up against Oscar De La Goya, I was his main sparring partner (for that fight). When I sparred with him and I did so well against him I was like – wow. I’ve just done so well against the pound for pound best fighter in the world and I was beating him. People were writing me off and said that Amir you’re finished. You’re never going to come back. You were someone who we thought were going to be something and be a great champion but guess what, you’re not going to be what we thought you were.”
He went on to say candidly say:
“When I sparred Manny Pacquiao and did so well against him and I had Manny himself come over to me and said don’t give up, keep working hard and you will become a world champion. I went on from that two fights later to become a world champion.”
Quite the story in fairness.
Two friends and training partners now in line for a showdown in the ring.
If it happens, expect friendship to be put on hold for twelve rounds.