UK boxer Amir Khan: Manny is my idolBy Marjorie Gorospe, loQal.ph | The Inbox – Tue, Apr 5, 2011 12:10 PM PHT
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — He is currently the Filipino boxing hero's sparring mate but outside the ring, British pugilist Amir Khan says Manny Pacquiao is also his idol.
The 24-year old British fighter, who will defend his WBA light welterweight title against Paul McCloskey of Ireland on April 16, is all praises for Pacquiao in an interview with the UK's The Independent.
"I may look arrogant in the ring but I've always been humble. More so now because even though he is the greatest boxer in the world Manny is incredibly humble. He is an example to me, and I try to be an example to youngsters back home," he said.
Khan just wrapped up his stint as the Filipino champ's sparring mate in preparation for the latter's fight against Sugar Shane Mosley on May 7.
The British fighter, known for his flashy hand speed and footwork, earlier predicted Pacquiao will stop Mosley no later than the eighth round.
Khan, meanwhile, also clarified his split with conditioning coach Alex Ariza after his most recent title defense against Marcos Maidana. Ariza also serves as Pacquiao's conditioning coach.
The break-up, Khan says, had nothing to do with unfounded rumors of illegal pills and power potions being used in the Pacquiao camp, largely instigated by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"It was nothing like that," he explained. "We simply moved on. Alex was also working with Manny but now I have someone [nutritionist Michael Vale] who is working only with me. Alex and I still say hello to each other; after all, it's a professional game. But you have to do what you feel is best for yourself."
Khan flew back home to the UK last weekend. Freddie Roach, who is also his trainer, will take some time out from Pacquiao's training to prepare Khan for his fight against McCloskey.
Reposted From Marjorie Gorospe of THE INBOX