Boxing


Amir Khan Says He'll Seek Advice For Barrera Fight From Naseem Hamed

Amir Khanby James Slater - Just over 24 hours on from the announcement that 22-year-old Amir Khan will face the 35-year-old version of an all-time great that is Marco Antonio Barrera, and it still takes some believing that this fight will actually happen. Talk about one huge, perhaps even foolish, risk on Khan's part! Anyway, enough of that - can Khan win, and if so how?

Well, in a news article that is doing the rounds on the net today, Khan has spoken of how he will soon be enlisting the help of another British fighter who has shared a ring with "The Baby Faced Assassin" - Naseem Hamed. The only thing is, "The Prince" lost. Badly. Can Hamed, now long retired, really offer Khan any useful guidance for March 14th's fight? Had Hamed beaten or even given Barrera a tough fight back in April of 2001, his being asked for advice would be more understandable.. But as it is, and recalling how the Mexican assassin punched holes through the featherweight's guard on his way to schooling him for a dominant portion of the bout's 12 rounds, what is there that Hamed can possibly say to help the fighter some have labelled "the new Naseem Hamed?"

Okay, in all likelihood, Khan's revelation that he will be asking Hamed for help is nothing more than a good bit of publicity. Everyone knows it will be the great Freddie Roach and he alone who will devise Khan's March fight strategy. But the Hamed thing does give the already widely talked about match-up even more of a talking point.

Khan spoke about his big upcoming fight, and how he will be getting in touch with "Naz" soon.

"I'll have a good chat with Naz about it - I'll probably speak to him soon. I spoke to him just last week," Khan said. "I'll sit down with Freddie and see what he thinks too. Having Freddie in my corner is great. He's trained Manny [Pacquiao] twice to face Barrera. He knows Barrera inside out. He told me before my fight against Oisin Fagan that Barrera would be a good opponent for me. Manny will be able to give me some good advice because he's fought him twice."

Khan, who is fooling himself if he expects anything other than a very tough fight in March - tough not only physically, but also mentally - as the pressure on the 22-year-old will be immense - did sound confident of victory.

"My style is perfect to beat Barrera," Khan went on. "He's a come-forward fighter and sometimes he's static. I'll stick to my boxing - I'm not going to try to knock him out. He's got a good chin and he's only been stopped once and that was by Manny."

Actually, though the fight is in the record books as a DQ win for Junior Jones, "Poison's" 1996 5th round win was, as anyone who has seen it will know, really a KO win - making that two times Barrera has been stopped. However, Khan will be smart if he does indeed avoid looking for the KO, as he says he will.

And while some fans will disagree when Khan says his style makes Barrera perfect for him, it's hard to fault Amir's confidence. Let's see if he can keep this same confident mindset on fight night.

Article posted on 16.01.2009



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