Naseem Hamed - "Amir Khan's A Great Fighter But I Was Super Great!"

by James Slater - A chubby and out of shape Naseem Hamed was at ringside this past Saturday to see Amir Khan - the fighter many have compared with the once royal "Prince" - beat Andreas Kotelnik to take the WBA 140-pound belt. And though the now long retired former featherweight champion has since given the 22-year-old star much credit for his win, Hamed in talking to The Mirror, insists neither Khan nor any other fighter out there today is as good or as special as he was when he was in his prime..

Hamed may not have thrown a punch since way back in 2002, but his tongue is still as sharp as it ever was, and the 35-year-old has sure retained the ability required to fire off a good quote or two.

"The Prince" spoke about how Khan is indeed a great fighter, but that he is not on a par with himself.

"Amir's a great fighter and he's got mad hand speed," Hamed said. "He's got crazy hand speed, hand speed not a lot of fighters have got - but can I see a bit of me in him? I don't know. I was super great. I was special. Amir Khan is Amir Khan. He's a great fighter, he's got great attributes. But Prince Naseem brought something completely different to any other fighter in the world."

Readers will see how Hamed has lost none of his cockiness or his ability to refer to himself in the third person, and the featherweight star was indeed a most exciting fighter back in the 1990s. Hamed himself says he still thinks about those special days.

"I still look back at the days in the early '90s and think 'Boy, that confidence just came out in me, strong,' and it was fantastic, the drama and the entertainment I brought. I don't see anything remotely like me in boxing, past or future."

It is true that Hamed hit like few other featherweights in boxing history, but Khan, though not as hard a hitter, is a real talent in his own right. And Hamed says he was particularly impressed with the way Khan came back from his shock KO loss to Breidis Prescott to beat Kotelnik.

Hamed also approves of the fact that Khan has a poster of him up at his Bolton gym - even if "The Prince" said so in typically arrogant fashion.

"If I was him, I'd have a picture of me up too because I'm a great inspiration," he said.

Hamed's still got it, verbally at least!

Article posted on 22.07.2009

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