Manny Pacquiao vs Amir Khan in sparring: "He knows what happened"Written by Lee Cleveland
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.
"I remember the wars I used to have [with Manny Pacquiao] in the Wild Card gym...I thought it was good to do that, With me and Pacquiao, it was war," asserted Khan.
"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."
And just this week, trainer Freddie Roach insisted he'd prefer Pacquiao to fight Danny Garcia over Khan.
Perhaps Khan was telling the truth?
According to Roach, when Manny and Amir sparred, Khan usually won the early rounds while PcaMan surged in the later stanzas. But the trainer also stated he believed Amir would run from Manny in a real contest thereby producing a lackluster affair for the fans.
I saw one video of the two sparring and would narrowly give the edge to Khan.
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.
Is that what may have happened in the Pacquiao vs Khan sparring sessions? Who knows? But Manny seems like the type who doesn't put much stock in winning sparring sessions while Khan comes across as someone who does.
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.
Khan and Pacquiao usually compete with 8 oz gloves so they probably spar with bigger mitts. The larger the glove, the less risk of knockout or injury.
Pacquiao vs Khan would be an interesting match-up and may or may not be altogether different than their sparring sessions.
(The December 2014 video interview is below)
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.