Feature Story

Q&A: Amir Khan

Read what WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan has to say about camp just two weeks before his July 23 140lb world championship unification fight against IBF champion Zab Judah taking place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

How has this camp been? Has it been better than the past three camps which involved traveling with trainer Freddie Roach (Philippines, Vancouver, Dallas, etc.)?

“This camp has been very smooth. We arrived in Los Angeles before the fight with Zab Judah was officially announced because we knew that the July 23 date was set in stone for my fight. When Timothy Bradley declined our last offer, we made a deal with Judah and we’ve been focusing on him since early June.”

“Obviously not traveling to the Philippines, Dallas or even Vancouver has made this an easier camp. There’s obviously less distractions this time. Although going to the Philippines to train with Manny was a terrific experience; any chance to train with one of the best fighters in the world is always an opportunity worth taking.”

How is it working again with Alex Ariza? Can you describe his help in preparing you for the fight with Zab Judah?

“I’m glad to be back with Alex, he’s a very important member of the team. My conditioning for this fight is top notch as he continues to challenge me with various morning workouts and other strength and conditioning routines. He’s got terrific ideas and I appreciate the variety of what we do on a daily basis.”

How do you feel about the talk coming from Zab Judah during the training camp? Does it feel like he’s trying to get you off edge?

“At first I was a little taken back, but that’s how Zab is. I don’t take much of it personally. He’s a terrific fighter with a wealth of experience. He tried to get under my skin at the press conference and on Twitter, but come July 23 I’ll be able to show the world who is better and that’s all that matters.”

Can you discuss how it feels to return to Mandalay Bay, the site of your 2010 “Fight of the Year” performance against Marcos Maidana?

“I’m truly thrilled to be fighting again at Mandalay Bay. It’s a beautiful casino and resort for the fans and the arena is a perfect place to come and see the fight. My fight with Maidana was a classic and I look forward to putting on another sensational performance.”

This is your third fight in the United States, do you feel that fight fans and media are giving you more attention and respect?

“Fans in the U.S. are very much ‘show me what you got’ type fans, which I like. I’ve had great responses from fans after my wins against Malignaggi and Maidana and I look forward to continuing to earn their respect. Same with the [American] boxing writers, they’ve been very fair to me. That’s all I can ask.”

Generally speaking, what do you think will be your keys to a victory over Zab Judah?

“My keys to beating Zab are to stay focused and listen to Freddie’s plan. Freddie does a great job analyzing my opponents and putting together great plans towards victory. I’m fully confident that we’re putting the work in with our preparations that will lead to a victory on July 23.”

Freddie Roach, Khan’s Trainer

How do you feel training camp is going?

“We had our best day of sparring on Friday (July 8). Everything is on schedule. We’ll be cutting down on sparring now; he peaked at 10 rounds. Now we’re down to eight, six and then four rounds sessions.”

When will you break camp to head to Las Vegas?

“We will travel to Las Vegas after training on Monday (July 18).”

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