Amir Khan wants no part of repeating a long layoff between fights, but the former world champion from Britain appreciates what it has done for his skills.
“It’s given me more power, strength and explosiveness than I’ve ever had before,” Khan said Tuesday at Hollywood’s Wild Card Boxing Club while discussing his July 14 junior-welterweight title fight against champion Danny Garcia (23-0, 14 knockouts) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) was 10 days from a May 19 rematch against Lamont Peterson when a drug test for Peterson was declared positive for synthetic testosterone.
The fight was scrapped and Garcia stepped in for his first World Boxing Council title defense.
Khan trainer Freddie Roach immediately sent Khan home to England for more than two weeks after the Peterson drug test result, and when Roach was asked how a re-trained Khan will beat Garcia, he answered, “Too big, too strong, too fast.”
“Amir came back here fresh, and we brought in different sparring partners for him based on the change of opponent to Garcia,” Roach said. “And with Amir’s new strength coach, he’s hitting harder.”
Khan promised Garcia “will be getting hit from every corner of the ring,” and “will suffer the wrath of Khan.”
You knew that Star Trek line would be coming someday.
A victory will leave Khan with a choice to remain at 140 pounds and either wait for Peterson or take on someone like Riverside’s Josesito Lopez, or move to 147 pounds and perhaps aim at Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Khan was non-committal.
His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, praised Khan for avoiding the “exhaustion and boredom” De La Hoya said he deal with when a 1999 bout against Ike Quartey was postponed.
“Contrary to me, Amir Khan is always in great spirits, and he’s a true professional,” De La Hoya said. “I can tell you a layoff can hinder your performance, and I’ll tell you if that has happened to Amir Khan, he’s in for a long, hard night versus a hungry Danny Garcia.”