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Amir ahead of Pacquiao on pace, says Roach

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HOLLYWOOD, California: Britain’s WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan is a superior boxer at 24 than Filipino Manny Pacquiao was at the same age, according to trainer Freddie Roach who works with both fighters.

Khan, like Pacquiao, is a southpaw renowned for his speed and hard work ethic and Roach firmly believes he will emulate the Filipino by becoming the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter within the next two years.

“Amir is little bit more ahead of Manny,” the bespectacled Roach told Reuters at his Wild Card Boxing Club on Tuesday. “It took Manny Pacquiao eight years to get to the point where he became unbeatable and he has dominated every fight.

“Amir has been with me for just three years now and he’s getting closer and closer.

“He will become the pound-for-pound king within a couple of years. He is well ahead of schedule and a big win here against Zab (Judah) would be another step towards Manny’s record.”

“Zab will need to be at his best to survive in this one,” said Roach, who has worked with 31 world champions in his Wild Card gym on the outskirts of downtown Los Angeles.

“I am very confident in my guy. We are ready to fight, we know when and where to attack this guy and how to attack him. We will win and walk away.

“I do not see this fight going the distance. We will overwhelm him with our speed and power, and I think Zab doesn’t really take to getting hit like he once did.”

Khan agreed that a knockout was likely, but he was wary of making any iron-clad prediction.

“I really think I will get a knockout in this fight but I never go into a fight looking for a knockout because that’s when you start making mistakes,” the Englishman told Reuters before beginning a training session in the ring with Roach.

“I’m going to go in there boxing and if the knockout comes it comes. But we are ready for the full 12-round distance. We have worked very hard for this fight and we know that we’ve got a good game plan that I’m going to be following.”

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