Exclusive Interview With Amir Khan - ďMy Speed Will Kill Maidanaís PowerĒ
By James Slater - WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan is currently hard at work getting ready for his big fight with the lethal-punching Marcos Maidana. Now in L.A, working alongside Manny Pacquiao with ace trainer Freddie Roach, Khan is looking forward to his Las Vegas debut.
Article posted on 29.10.2010
I called up today for an interview, and Khanís assistant, Tahir, informed me how Amir has just gotten over a bug. Despite this, camp - in both the Philippines and in L.A - has been going well, and the 23-year-old who captured a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics also spared some time to give the following answers to my questions.
Here is what an upbeat Khan had to say today:
James Slater: Itís a real pleasure to be able to speak with you, Amir. First of all, the bug Tahir tells me you had, was that a big problem in regards to your training, or was it just a small glitch?
Amir Khan: It was just a minor thing. I happened two days ago. I was meant to spar that day, but I said to myself, ĎI feel under the weather..í I thought at first it was jetlag, after all that flying from the U.K to the Philippines and then from the Philippines to America. But I still felt cold and had a bit of a temperature. I think my body just needed a rest, after all that travelling and everything. Everythingís back to normal now. Training was going really well until then. In fact, I was a little ahead, and Alex [Ariza] told me I needed to slow it down anyway. So in a way, itís good that it happened. The fightís still six-and-half weeks away.
J.S: Itís a sensational match-up, you and Maidana, and itís got everyone talking. Some say itís his power Vs. your speed, and people are asking, can you take his power? But can he deal with your speed in your opinion?
A.K: My speed will kill his power. His power wonít be effective against my speed. The speed I have, Iíll dilute his power. Heís a big puncher, donít get me wrong, and I know this is a very big test for me. Buy I wonít make the mistakes Iíve made before and I think Iíll shut up a lot of people by winning this fight.
J.S: Some people, at least on the forum of the website I write for, said youíd never take this fight at all - so youíve already shut up a lot of people by taking it.
A.K: Thatís right. I wanted this fight. The reason it didnít happen a year ago, is because there wouldnít have been the big money there is now, the fight wouldnít have been anywhere near as big as it is now. So thatís why we waited, and now itís a great fight for all boxing fans.
J.S: Is it fair to say, that if you took away Maidanaís power heíd not be in your class?
A.K: Yeah, I think so. Take away his power and heís a domestic fighter, an ordinary fighter. I think heís won his fights with his power and his heart. Heís not a complete fighter. Skills always win fights. But I wonít be taking any shortcuts in this fight, I will be on the ball.
J.S: He says he only has to catch you once and he will beat you. What do you say to that?
A.K: I donít think so at all. After the first few rounds of the fight, people will be saying to themselves how they got it all wrong. When they see how easily Iím dominating him, theyíll realise that Maidana isnít what they thought he was. He thinks Iím going to run in the fight, but Iím not going to run! Iíll be as comfortable and effective close in, in the pocket, as well as from long distance. Iíll box him with brains.
J.S: Is it fair to say though, that on paper this is the most dangerous fight of your career?
A.K: Definitely. On paper heís the most powerful and the toughest guy, judging by his record. Itís a good, big test for me, but one I think Iíll walk through and then go on to some even bigger fights.
J.S: Do you see a distance fight, where you school him? Or do you think youíll win by KO?
A.K: I think Iíll stop him. Mid-rounds, or late-rounds.
J.S: And you mentioned the big fights that will come after this fight if you win. Weíve all read about how you plan to fight the Tim Bradley-Devon Alexander winner, unify the 140-pound division and then go on to a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather! Is that the ideal plan for you?
A.K: Thatís definitely the plan. People say Iím looking too far ahead, but Iím not talking about this for my next fight, Iím talking 12 to 15 months from now. Itís good to have ambition. Iím still learning, but itís good to look to the future as well. And the Bradley-Alexander winner: Iím the first guy to call for the winner of my fight [with Miadana] to fight the winner of that fight. I asked for that after the Paulie Malignaggi fight. I asked for it on T.V. I was the first guy to demand those fights, so Iím dictating it. For a time it looked like they [Bradley and Alexander] wouldnít fight, but now theyíve come to terms. I said to Golden Boy, Ďget me Maidana!í So that I would fight the winner of Bradley and Alexander and unify the 140-pound division. Iím the guy who made all this happen.
J.S: Who wins out of Bradley and Alexander?
A.K: Bradley beats Alexander. I think Alexanderís still raw, and somewhat inexperienced. But then again, theyíre both on the same level. Itís a 50-50 fight, but Iím edging towards Bradley winning it.
J.S: A fight with Mayweather would be huge, and I read you want it in the U.K. That would be a massive occasion! But do you think Floyd will fight again? Obviously no-one knows what will happen with his legal troubles.
A.K: When money, big money, is put on the table, fights get made. Floyd has said itís his dream to fight in the U.K and this fight would be a great fight for me and for the U.K. When has the U.K had a fight this big?
J.S: It would be speed Vs. speedÖ
A.K: (jumping in) It would be speed and skill against speed and skill. As Iím getting older and wiser, my skills are coming on all the time. And timing-wise this fight would be perfect for me. Boxingís all about timing, making the right fights at the right time. This is why weíre having this fight now, and then we want the next one, to put my name up there, as the best in the world in the light-welterweight division.
J.S: And by the time the fight with Mayweather happened, youíd be 24 and Floyd would be 34. Do you think youíll be at your absolute peak at age 24?
A.K: I think 24 to 25 Iíll be in my prime. You know, Iíve improved so much under Freddie Roach - look at my fights and you can see. And the sparring Iíve done with Manny Pacquiao has also made me improve a lot. When we spar now, I do so well, I catch him and Iím very comfortable in there. That shows how much Iíve come on.
J.S: How many rounds have you done with Pac-Man so far?
A.K: Weíve done 15 rounds up until now, and weíll probably end up doing around 25 rounds.
J.S: Well, you couldnít get better sparring than that. Itís been great talking with you and I wish you the best of luck for the fight. Weíre all looking forward to it and this fight is one no-one will mind paying for!
A.K: Thanks a lot mate.
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