• Boxing

Roach tips Khan to emulate Pacquiao

ESPN staff
May 13, 2010
Freddie Roach believes Amir Khan can be as good as Manny Pacquiao

Freddie Roach believes Amir Khan has the potential to be as successful as Manny Pacquiao.

Khan joined forces with Roach in 2008 after parting with Jorge Rubio following his defeat to Breidis Prescott. And it has proved to be a successful partnership, as Khan claimed the world title from Andreas Kotelnik in July 2009.

Khan takes on Paulie Malignaggi in the second defence of his WBA light-welterweight title at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday night, and his trainer, who also handles the seven-division champion Pacquiao, has noticed similarities between the pair.

"He reminds me of a young Manny Pacquiao when I first started working with him," said Roach. "A 21-year-old who is just kind of raw around the edges and just needs to be cleaned up a little bit. Maybe in eight years' time he will be pound-for-pound king.

"The work ethic is very similar, the speed and power. They're fast guys with a lot of power. There are a lot of similarities. Potentially he could be the best but we still have ways to go before we prove that."

As Khan prepares to step into the ring for the first time on American soil, the former Olympic silver medalist, who has sparred with the current WBO world welterweight champion, is flattered by Roach's comparisons.

"Freddie knows how hard I train and how hard Manny trains and even if I do half of what Manny has done in my career I will be happy gives you that push," he said.

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