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Training Camp Q And A’s With Amir Khan And Zab Judah
Khan and Judah head to head
On July 23 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas,Nevada, Britain’s Amir Khan puts his WBA junior-welterweight crown on the line against American IBF champion Zab Judah in a unification battle.
On Monday two of the best 140lbs on the planet took part in an open media workout and answered questions from the boxing press.
Below is what Khan, Judah and their respective trainers had to say about their July 23 unification battle
Amir “King” Khan” - WBA junior-welterweight Champion
Q: How has this camp been? Has it been better than the past three camps which involved traveling with trainer Freddie Roach (Philippines, Vancouver, Dallas, etc.)?
A: “This camp has been very smooth. We arrived in Los Angeles before the fight with Zab Judah was officially announced because we knew that the July 23 date was set in stone for my fight. When Timothy Bradley declined our last offer, we made a deal with Judah and we’ve been focusing on him since early June.”
“Obviously not traveling to the Philippines, Dallas or even Vancouver has made this an easier camp. There’s obviously less distractions this time. Although going to the Philippines to train with Manny was a terrific experience; any chance to train with one of the best fighters in the world is always an opportunity worth taking.”
Q: How is it working again with Alex Ariza? Can you describe his help in preparing you for the fight with Zab Judah?
A: “I’m glad to be back with Alex, he’s a very important member of the team. My conditioning for this fight is top notch as he continues to challenge me with various morning workouts and other strength and conditioning routines. He’s got terrific ideas and I appreciate the variety of what we do on a daily basis.”
Q: How do you feel about the talk coming from Zab Judah during the training camp? Does it feel like he’s trying to get you off edge?
A: “At first I was a little taken back, but that’s how Zab is. I don’t take much of it personally. He’s a terrific fighter with a wealth of experience. He tried to get under my skin at the press conference and on Twitter, but come July 23 I’ll be able to show the world who is better and that’s all that matters.”
Q: Can you discuss how it feels to return to Mandalay Bay, the site of your 2010“Fight of the Year” performance against Marcos Maidana?
A: “I’m truly thrilled to be fighting again at Mandalay Bay. It’s a beautiful casino and resort for the fans and the arena is a perfect place to come and see the fight. My fight with Maidana was a classic and I look forward to putting on another sensational performance.”
Q: This is your third fight in the United States, do you feel that fight fans and media are giving you more attention and respect?
A: “Fans in the U.S. are very much ‘show me what you got’ type fans, which I like. I’ve had great responses from fans after my wins against Malignaggi and Maidana and I look forward to continuing to earn their respect. Same with the [American] boxing writers, they’ve been very fair to me. That’s all I can ask.”
Q: Generally speaking, what do you think will be your keys to a victory over Zab Judah?
A: “My keys to beating Zab are to stay focused and listen to Freddie’s plan. Freddie does a great job analyzing my opponents and putting together great plans towards victory. I’m fully confident that we’re putting the work in with our preparations that will lead to a victory on July 23.”
Freddie Roach, Khan’s Trainer
Q: How do you feel training camp is going?
A: “We had our best day of sparring on Friday (July 8). Everything is on schedule. We’ll be cutting down on sparring now; he peaked at 10 rounds. Now we’re down to eight, six and then four rounds sessions.”
Q: When will you break camp to head to Las Vegas?
A: “We will travel to Las Vegas after training on Monday (July 18).”
Zab “Super” Judah - IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion
Q: How is training camp progressing for July 23?
A: “Training camp is going well for me. We have a lot of fun in camp. We’re very relaxed, but very focused too. It’s great. I really have never felt better. My weight is great. It’s been a lot of hard work and dedication and we are ready to go.”
Q: How are you mentally preparing for this fight?
A: “July 23 is about this: What can you bring as far as your skills? What can you bring as far as your brains? What can you bring as far as your knowledge of boxing? What do you [Amir Khan] do when you look across that ring and there’s a hungry lion named Zab ‘Super’ Judah looking you dead in the eye, anxious for the bell to go bing? You either fold or you play cards. Me? I’m going to play to win!”
Q: What is the key to your strategy to beat Khan?
A: “You’re not going to get me to speak about strategy. We don’t talk about the specifics of what we do; you just need to know that everything we do, we do it hard and we do it well. It’s all about preparation and we are prepared. Come see for yourself on July 23, it’s going to be a spectacular performance!”
Pernell Whitaker, Judah’s Trainer & Former Five-Time World Champion
Q: How do you feel training camp for is going?
A: “Up to now camp has been wonderful. There’s still 10 days to go and it can only get better. He’s [Judah] got finesse, speed and power, and we’re putting all three of those things together into one. I feel great about it. There’s no negativity in the camp.”
Q: What is your specific strategy to win this fight?
A: “You know we’re not going to talk specific strategies, but everything’s been positive. Zab is looking real good, real good.”
Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah, a 12-round WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Championship Unification fight, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Khan Promotions and Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
In the United Kingdom, the event will be broadcast live on Primetime Pay-Per-View, channel 480 on Sky for£14.95. For fans who want to travel to Las Vegas to see the fight live, Team Khan has teamed up with leading Thomas Cook brand Flexibletrips to provide a range of tailor-made travel packages for fans who want to be there in person. Packages include flights, hotel rooms and fight tickets. More information is available at www.amirkhan2vegas.comor by calling 0844 8798298.
Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, are on sale now and available for purchase at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
July 12, 2011