Two more world champion boxers are set to join Team Pacquiao's ongoing training camp in Baguio City.
No less than World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight champion Amir Khan and World Boxing Council (WBC) silver middleweight title holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are expected to arrive in the country this week.
The two world champions will join Mexican Michael Medina and Glen Tapia, who have sparred with Pacquiao, to help toughen up the Filipino southpaw for his November 13 fight against Antonio Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Freddie Roach, the four-time Trainer of the Year who's supervising Pacquiao's preparation for his 12-round bout against Margarito for the vacant WBC light middleweight title, informed sports scribes about Khan’s arrival after the world seven-division champion’s four-round sparring session against Medina last Saturday.
This was confirmed by Pacquiao's Canadian adviser Michael Koncz and chief of staff Jayke Joson in a telephone interview with GMANews.TV.
Koncz said Khan was supposed to come two weeks ago but is now set to arrive sometime this week.
Joson added that Team Pacquiao expects Khan and Chavez to arrive by Thursday.
"They will spar with Pacquiao for maybe two weeks, then we'll break camp on October 30 and head to the States for the final leg of preparation for the Margarito fight," Joson said.
Khan, Pacquiao's stable mate at Roach's famous Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, and Chavez will proceed immediately to Baguio City where the Filipino boxing champion has set up his training camp.
The 23-year-old native of Lancashire, United Kingdom, is just the latest topnotch fighter to be tapped by Roach to help get Pacquiao in shape against Margarito, the Sarangani congressman's towering opponent from Tijuana, Mexico.
Khan is 5-foot-10 while Chavez, the unbeaten middleweight prospect, is six feet tall, making both boxers the right fit as Pacquiao's sparring partners. Both are also training for separate fights in December.
Vanes Martirosyan, an undefeated light middleweight prospect, is also being tapped by Roach as yet another sparring partner for Pacquiao.
Khan, an Olympic silver medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is set to defend his WBA 140-pound belt on Dec. 11 against knockout artist Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas, and will be using the training in Baguio as part of the preparation for his third title defense.
"I get so much from working alongside Manny," said Khan, who's coming off an 11th-round knockout of Paul Malignaggi at the Madison Square Garden last May.
"Tell me if there’s a better place to be than with the world’s best trainer and the world's best boxer. I learn so much from rubbing shoulders with Manny and I genuinely admire him."
Before coming over, Khan spent a week at the Wild Card gym to kick off his two-month training for the Maidana bout.
He's set to return to the U.S. with Roach, Pacquiao and the rest of the Filipino boxing champion’s entourage on the third week of October to resume their training at the Wild Card gym.