Ryan Songalia

Khan praises VADA: “We’re going to prove that we are clean fighters!”


MANILA, Philippines – Former WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan says that his desire to silence skeptics influenced his decision to accept the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency’s (VADA) involvement in his upcoming rematch with Lamont Peterson on May 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

“What people said is, ‘Alex Ariza always trains his fighters in good shape, they must be taking something.’ Numerous times people talked about Manny (Pacquiao) about stuff, myself being on stuff, also (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.) being on illegal substances. I’m just going to prove to everyone that look, I’ll do the tests, Olympic-style tests, and you can test me whenever you want, wherever you want, randomly,” said Khan, 26-2 (18 knockouts), of Bolton, Lancashire, England, from his training camp in Manila, Philippines.

“People don’t realize how hard we train. We are going to get the people from the Olympic testing, they’re going to come and test us. We’re going to prove that we are clean fighters.”

Khan-Peterson II joins the bout between WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and “Sugar” Shane Mosley on May 5, plus the rematch between Victor Ortiz and IBF welterweight titleholder Andre Berto on June 23 in employing testing from VADA, which was founded by former Nevada State Athletic Commission ringside physician and Medical Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Margaret Goodman.

altKhan, who is looking to avenge his split-decision defeat to Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) of Washington, D.C. in December, has been working on conditioning with Alex Ariza and local trainer Marvin Somodio, who has been a fixture in many of Freddie Roach’s training camps in the Philippines.

Khan left the United Kingdom for an early training camp in the Philippines weeks ahead of Roach’s arrival, which is expected this Monday or Tuesday, to adjust to the climate and time change. Khan says that Somodio has been in contact with Roach as they work on strategy to prepare for the crucial rematch.

“We’re working on tactics to beat Lamont Peterson, what we did in the last fight, what we did wrong, what we should’ve done,” said Khan.

“Mentally, we have to stick to the game plan a little bit more, don’t stand there and take shots. I think we’ve proven time after time that we’ve got a good chin and we’ve taken the best shots from the likes of (Marcos) Maidana, (Zab) Judah and Lamont Peterson.

“Lamont Peterson couldn’t hurt me in the fight. I’ve been hit harder by a lot of other opponents. Maybe that’s the reason I stayed there a little bit longer, just for him to load up on me. I think next time we’re gonna be ‘hit move slick,’ be the way I fight normally. If he wants to stand there and fight, we’ll be standing there and fighting him but at the moment we have a set game plan that we’re following and hopefully that’s going to work for me.”

Khan will take his training up to the high elevation region of Baguio for the next phase of his training once Manny Pacquiao joins the fold for his June 9 bout with Timothy Bradley. Sparring partners are still being selected for Khan’s camp, but Khan says he won’t be sparring with Pacquiao.

alt“I always train like a challenger, that’s one thing about me,” said Khan. “We’re going to go into this fight not being a champion, that’s on paper. I really believe I won the first fight. The last fight we did make mistakes maybe because he wasn’t hurting me and we put him down very early in the fight. Maybe I got too confident and thought this is a walk in the park.

“Going into this second fight, I’m going to have to win it more convincingly and a lot more clearly and even if it comes down to stopping Lamont Peterson, we will do that. I’ve got the speed, the power and the movements to do that.

“He can bring whatever he wants to the table. Lamont Peterson has shown me everything, his punching power, his speed, his movements, his pressure, I know exactly what to expect. I’d be silly to make the same mistakes in the second fight.”

photos: Craig Bennett, Naoki Fukuda



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