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“It’s really just great to be here; to train with Manny. The people are nice, and they know all about boxing” — Amir Khan on being back for a second time training in the Philippines.
It was a humid Thursday afternoon when I caught up with Amir Khan at the Planet Jupiter boxing gym in Makati, Philippines. His punches were echoing like gun shots inside the sedated confines of the boxing facility located at the top floor of a commercial complex in the heart of Manila’s busiest district.
<– (Click on this link to watch my video with Amir Khan training in Manila)
The small crowd that gathered, were all quietly marveling at teacher and pupil work out their fight strategy and mitt work which Khan did for several rounds with his trainer Freddie Roach. Among the observers were three-time women’s world champion Ana Julaton, top Philippine sports writer Quinito Henson, and a boxing trainer that could very well pass as a Manny Pacquiao look-a-like.
“It’s really good here man. Very warm. Nice people. Good gym,” Khan told me when I asked him about his second trip back in the Philippines. Khan is busy training for his April 16 WBA world light welterweight title defense against Paul McCloskey at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, UK. Khan looked and felt right at home. After sparring with local idol Pacquiao in several of his previous camps, Filipinos have practically adopted him as one of their own.
After training for a week in the country’s business capital, Khan joined Pacquiao’s camp in Baguio together with fellow sparring partner Dave Rodela. The Bolton native is looking sharp and shaping into fighting form as his team raves about returns from back home that his fight is currently sold out. Khan is also one of Pacquiao’s sparring partners in Baguio as the pound-for-pound king prepares for his May 7 fight against Shane Mosley.
(Click on this link to watch my video with Amir Khan training in Manila)
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