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Roach: 'Khan has overtaken Mayweather'


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Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach believes that Amir Khan has overtaken Floyd Mayweather Jnr and is on the verge of reaching Manny Pacquiao's level.


Seven-weight world champion Pacquiao is considered to be the sport's pound-for-pound king, but Roach - who coaches both fighters - has seen enough in recent sparring sessions to suggest that Khan could inherit that title.


"Manny is still ahead but he knows that Amir has come out on top at least once," Roach told the Daily Mail. "Manny is still super quick and speed kills. But if anything Amir is just a tiny fraction faster now and his punching is getting more powerful by the day. Manny's punching is more dense but the gap between them is narrowing.


"Floyd Mayweather? No. Amir Khan is the only fighter out there who is close to catching Manny."


Khan has ruled out a future showdown with Pacquiao, however, as he feels that he would have no chance without Roach in his corner. "It won't happen with me and Manny. Not just because we're friends but because I could not take a fight that big without Freddie in my corner and he would have to be with Manny."


The WBA light-welterweight champion defends his strap against the big-hitting Argentinean Marcos Maidana on December 11 in a clash that will provide a stern test of his suspect chin. If he can overcome that hurdle, Khan will turn his attentions to securing a fight against Mayweather Jnr towards the end of next year - but not before he has unified the light-welterweight belts.


"First I will deal with Maidana - I believe I'll be the first to knock him out but I don't care if it goes the distance - and then unify the title by stopping the winner of Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander," he said. "Do that and then, towards the end of next year, I can go in against Mayweather in my prime, in a 50-50 fight.


"Manny thinks it will be a good fight because he's trained with me, sparred with me, he really thinks I'm good enough to fight Mayweather now. But I think in the next 12 months, when I get even better and with more experience, I think I'll be in better condition to fight him then.


"This is a timing game and I want to fight him when I think I'm ready, not when he's ready and I'm not. I want to fight him when we're both ready and when I've hit my peak. I think in the next 12 months, that will be an ideal fight for me - It's definitely a fight I'd fancy."



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