- Michael Woods, Boxing
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This is Part 2 of NY FightBlog's exclusive interview with Amir Khan. Check out Part 1 here.
Old-time trainers used to meddle much more in their fighters' lives, and some portrayed romantic unions as figurative Kryptonite. Getting their charges to focus on the fighting got more complicated with a romantic partner in the mix, so the grizzled old guard would often rail against the concept of wedded bliss.
The old guard may have had a bit of a point, even if they did at times overstep their bounds. For instance, the newly minted Mrs. Amir Khan isn't a big boxing fan. Faryal hasn't attended one of Amir's fights, and I pointedly asked him if she likes the sport, and his participation in the grotesquely misnamed "sweet" science, during a recent phone chat with the former two-division champ who will resume his campaign to regain a title after the Ramadan fasting period ends.
"She doesn't enjoy the boxing, no," Khan admitted. Her arm would have to be twisted to get her to a Khan fight, he said, and she doesn't even derive satisfaction when her man draws blood from a foe. Could we see a situation where her ambivalence about Khan's chosen vocation results in a premature withdrawal for the man who won silver at the 2004 Olympics for England at age 17? Remains to be seen.
Khan says Faryal gives helpful input in diet and fitness, and is aware that he is "not gonna give it up or walk away."
The cementing of a partnership can mean upheaval regarding living arrangements. The Khans, Amir said, will live in Bolton, England, about five months a year, in the New York area about two months a year, and the rest of the time in California, where he will train with tutor Virgil Hunter. "Me and my wife will be together all the time," he said. (I can hear the ghosts of the grizzled sages growl.)
Khan said a fight in NYC, especially at Barclays Center, which has an exclusive promoter deal with Golden Boy, has been discussed. "It's an amazing venue," he said.
It looks like Khan will take on IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander, a solid and steady pugilist, in December. Golden Boy wanted Dubai as the location, seeking to open up that locale, rich with interest and funds, but it seems Alexander isn't keen to travel so far, so Vegas could be the site of the faceoff. And if Khan wins that, could a Floyd Mayweather gig come next? "Early next year, there's been a lot of talk about it, I can't confirm yes or no, but a Floyd fight has been talked about," Khan said.
Mayweather needs to get past 22-year-old Mexican heartthrob Canelo Alvarez (42-0) on Sept. 14 first. Will "Money" prevail? "Mayweather might be one step ahead of Canelo," Khan said. "Canelo's style might fall a little short."
And how could Khan beat the 44-0 Mayweather? "Two things, speed and explosiveness, would help me beat Floyd," Amir said. "My speed takes away his defense, and I can put on pressure, not many fighters have that. In Barclays Center, against Floyd Mayweather, I think it would be brilliant."
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