Amir Khan: Shawn Porter had his way with Manny Pacquiao in sparring
Elite-level prizefighter Amir Khan, who has been lobbying hard for showdowns with both superstar champions, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, insists Pac-Man has some noticeable flaws and predicts Floyd will win their May 2nd superfight.
A former pupil of Freddie Roach, Khan used to train with Pacquiao and the two sparred on many occasions in preparation for their respective upcoming fights.
There's an old adage when sparring: What happens in the gym, stays in the gym.
But in a recent interview with the sports website FightHype, Amir Khan didn't mince words as it relates to Pacquiao's alleged demise:
"I've seen him spar with Shawn Porter and Shawn Porter (25-1, 16 KO) used to have his way. Shawn Porter, you know, he's the same size as Mayweather."
Earlier this year, Khan sent ripples through the boxing community when he stated he bested Pacquiao in sparring as well.
"Most of the time, I used to get the better of him. I've got videos of that (to prove it)...He knows deep down what happened in sparring."
However, sparring isn't prizefighting from a performance-standpoint. Often times, sparring is "practice fighting" with the aim of improving the skills and fitness level of one or both participants while minimizing the risk of serious injury.
Sparring is usually intended to serve as a learning process for those participating.
For example, if a short fighter needs to practice his defense in preparation for a much taller opponent, he'll spar with a tall fighter with the sole intention of evading punches, not scoring points.
To onlookers who may not know any better, the shorter fighter may appear tentative and less willing to engage when, in reality, he's working on blocking shots.
Secondly, glove size matters and the gloves used in sparring offer no benefit to the harder puncher. Sparring gloves are almost always more padded than those used in actual contests.
But Khan sited other reasons for Pacquiao's alleged underperformace.
"Obviously he's getting older as well." (Although Floyd is older than Manny)
"With age, he's not going to be as effective and he's not going to be as explosive as he used to be. That's why I said five years ago, it would've been a different fight."
In all fairness, perhaps there are additional, or hidden, reasons for Khan's harsh criticism of Pacquiao?
It seems the amicable relationship the fighters once shared as stablemates has deteriorated ever since the former butted heads with trainer Freddie Roach and subsequently left Wildcard Gym to train elsewhere in 2012.
Now, Khan lobbies hard for a superfight with the Filipino phenom and sometimes trades verbal barbs with his ex trainer, Roach.
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