MANILA – Do not immediately count out Britain’s Amir Khan should he ever fight unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Filipino icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is giving his former stablemate a chance against the pound-for-pound king, saying Khan’s speed will play a factor in the fight.
“He has a chance because he has speed. That’s good for him,” Pacquiao told Boxing Scene.
The Fighting Congressman however stressed that Khan’s chances will ultimately depend on “how hard he trains.”
Khan was once considered the front-runner to land a fight against Mayweather on May 3, though the American has yet to make the fight official. Argentina’s Marcos Maidana is also still reportedly in the running.
When asked about the problem with Khan’s chin – the Brit has been brutally knocked out twice already – Pacquiao said this can be fixed.
“If you look at the problem of the chin, I had that before, early in my career,” Pacquiao said. “I developed (a better chin). He needs to train hard if that fight happens.”
“He has a chance,” he stressed.
Pacquiao and Khan were former stable mates and sparring partners under Freddie Roach before Khan opted to leave last year.
Pacquiao is not the only high-profile boxer backing Khan; unbeaten super middleweight champion Andre Ward is also not counting out the Briton.
“I think you always have to look at speed,” Ward told Boxing Scene in a separate interview. “He has an awkward style, and he hits a lot harder than people think, at least from what I’ve seen.”
“He has a very awkward style and it works for him. And again, I think he’s hitting harder than what people realize. The awkwardness, the speed and the pop he has – I think he can give anybody trouble on any given night,” Ward added.