Sports

Is Manny Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan Just a Pipe Dream?

| by Alex Groberman

Slowly but surely, Amir Khan has inserted himself in the “relevant boxers” discussion alongside Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. With his latest dominating victory over a completely and totally unprepared Zab Judah, Khan had some people going so far as to compare him to Pacquiao, wondering if he could possibly even eclipse the Filipino superstar one day.

To be the best you have to beat the best, though, and on Tuesday Freddie Roach -- who trains both men -- spoke on the possibility of the pair squaring off in the ring at some point in time. As reported by Robert Morales of Boxing Scene:

"They are not going to fight each other," Roach said Tuesday. "I'm not going to let that happen because I train both fighters. They are both my fighters and they are like sons to me. How can I let both my sons fight?

"It is too much drama to let that happen," he said. "They are like my kids. I've been with Manny for 10 years and I've been with Amir for three years. We have a great relationship. Why would I ruin that relationship? There are a lot of other good fighters out there. (Victor) Ortiz, (Floyd) Mayweather, 'The Ghost,' (Robert Guerrero). There are a lot of other good fighters."

It would be fun to watch any other trainer squirm at the prospect of having to choose between his two best fighters, but Roach is far too respectable of a figure for that. He has single-handedly helped mold and shape both Pacquiao and Khan into the beasts fans witness before them during every fight, and as such, he’s earned the right to be apprehensive about watching his two “sons” beat the stuffing out of one another.

But is it all about not wanting to watch his boys fight? Or, does Roach not want to see too much damage inflicted to the “son” he knows would get whipped?

"Manny has too much experience for him," said Roach. "Amir seems to be better early and then Manny takes over in the later rounds because of his experience."

Roach is right, of course. Khan is one of the most promising young stars to pass through boxing, but he has nothing for Pacquiao at this point in his career besides fresher legs. Nevertheless, it would be something to the effect of poetic justice to see Khan build his legacy to “Pacquiao-like” levels by taking out the Filipino superstar once he was just past his prime -- sort of like Pacquiao did to Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and soon enough, Juan Manuel Marquez.