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Author Topic: Amir's a smash hit  (Read 2006 times)
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« on: June 12, 2009, 02:54:06 PM »

By Adam Smith

Boxing apart, another passion of mine is tennis - a one-on-one sport which also pits duals between fabulous competitors who combine a mixture of skills, timing and wits.

Roger Federer is one of my sporting heroes. I have long admired the Swiss star since I saw him playing Junior Wimbledon some 11 years ago. In those days, Federer had to control his temperament, but he conquered his demons, and has long been 'Mr Cool' on court.

His breathtaking and exciting blend of speed, fluidity, power, and effortless shot-making - plus his ability to take risks on court - have turned him into surely the greatest player of all time.

Written off over the last year, Federer has bounced back in superb style to win that elusive French Open for the first time, whilst equalling Pete Sampras's 14-slam record. He will definitely add to that list.

Federer's not just extraordinarily talented, he's also charming, modest and personable; all of which make him the perfect sportsman. Roger Federer is a pure winner, single-minded and ambitious. As nice a guy as he is off the court, he has an inner steel and self-belief that is immensely strong.

We have a young boxer who possesses many similar qualities and who, like Federer, has long dreamed of ruling the world.

Amir Khan's a shining example to young kids out there that if you fight hard, and have a tremendous work ethic, natural-born talent can come through.


At 22, Khan stands on the verge of being crowned a world champion, which almost every fighter aspires to be. Hollywood's the place to head when you have dreams of fame and fortune. The LA hot-pot's buzzing at the moment with a host of glamorous film premieres, and star spotters are everywhere.

Yet, the vast array of strange street characters (some of which Freddie Roach has literally saved from shacks) are proof that the cruel reality of Tinseltown sees most dreams broken and shattered. Nor is this any sort of holiday camp for fighters chasing their own glory nights. There is no guarantee of any success in Hollywood, and it can be a tough and dangerous quarter of Los Angeles.

Contrary to strange press releases, Amir Khan is over here in a bid to do everything possible to realise his fighting dreams, and is most certainly on no theatrical path towards future stardom as a Hollywood actor. It's all part of a peculiar press and public response to one of our most talented, disciplined and hard-grafting young sportsmen.

Amir Khan has amazed me over these last nine months. The crushing and humiliating defeat to Breidis Prescott could have destroyed him both mentally and physically. Suddenly there was savage criticism from many, and some, unbelievably, even chose to laugh at Khan.

Personally I think to mock a fighter when he's down, is nothing short of disgraceful from folk who have never been brave enough to even lace on a pair of gloves. We have seen some similar harsh reaction following Ricky Hatton's last, devastating defeat. These proud men hurt, they feel humiliated, and I detest the mentality of kicking people when they're down.

Opinions in boxing of course vary, and ultimately it is part of a fighter's game to deal with whatever pitfalls he faces. Amir Khan decided to walk over to our interview position seconds after the Prescott disaster and face the music. Then he addressed the media pack. That takes sheer guts and courage.

The following day, he was back in his Bolton gym. Amir had to grow up fast, and we have watched him mature from a boy to a man.

Taking control of the dire situation, Khan decided to hire the brilliant Freddie Roach and re-locate a long way from his friends - to the other side of the world. His new home became a hard sweatshop full of fiery young fighters, and Khan began to do everything he possibly could to write the wrongs, and re-build as a boxer.

Over these last nine months, his confidence and composure have grown considerably. The victories over Oisin Fagan, and the old great Marco Antonio Barrera were major boosts, but I think his increased self-belief has largely come from his work at the Wildcard.

Handling himself well in gruelling sparring sessions with Manny Pacquiao was obviously hugely beneficial; moreover Khan's seen what his super stablemate has achieved while he's been in the camp.

There are other top fighters around Khan, and of course the world's hottest trainer in Roach. Khan has been back in La-La land for the last six weeks, preparing for his date with destiny on June 27, against the clever, seasoned and quality WBA light-welterweight champion Andreas Kotelnik.

This is Khan's most ferocious camp yet. Rising before dawn, his daily morning grind varies from intense, explosive ballistic routines to swimming strengthening exercises, to a mixture of energy-sapping runs: be it the savage steps up the cliffs of Santa Monica, or fast sprints around the athletic tracks at UCLA.

The conditioning programme is relentless. Expert Alex Ariza has worked wonders with both Manny and Amir. Khan's body has been transformed - he now has less bulk around his shoulders, his weight's distributed more evenly, and his legs have thickened.

Khan is eating well (his dad Shah cooks a mean breakfast!) and resting up too. He trains, relaxes, sleeps and eats. 24:7.

His power looks to be improving on the pads, and it may help that this fight is up at light-welterweight. Freddie and Amir are working on pivotal movement, and expect to win the battle with Kotelnik, not only through speed, but by angles and boxing at the correct pace, moving sensibly in and out with hard shots.

Just two weeks away from the fight, Amir Khan is focused and firing. In fact he's glowing in the Californian sun.

To find out about Khan's sparring, and what his stablemates think of his speed and chin - read the second part of this 'Khan special' next week, as we build-up to the big one on June 27th...,25212,13841_5375331,00.html
« on: June 12, 2009, 02:54:06 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 06:33:42 PM »

yeah... his china gets smashed when hit. jez kidding, couldn't resist.  Grin

if khan learns to roll with the punches like floyd, i think his chin will no longer be an issue. come to think of it, he might also do well to learn the shoulder roll. omg... can't believe it. i'm actually thinking of him getting floyd sr as coach after he has learned as much as he can with roach. Shocked

They never run out of reasons saying why it wonít happen. But the truth is they donít want the fight, and they say so many nasty things about me. But I donít mind. I wonít even say anything bad against them. Letís show them that Filipinos know how to respect people,Ē Pacquiao to PhilStar
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 07:05:30 PM »

If Khan does win the WBA title - I give him a 50/50 chance as Kotelnik is a smart, technical fighter who is accurate and a good counterpuncher - then it will be all down to Frank ****** matchmaking skills to keep Amir champion.

Roll up defences against Alex Arthur and former champ Gavin Rees. Grin

David Haye on Klitschko:"All I need is a ring and a ref who can count to ten"

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