Amir Khan vs Saul Alvarez: The Briton, speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport, will climb up two weight divisions to take on the formidable Mexican for the WBC middleweight title on May 7. Amir Khan admits he is bigger than he has ever before as he prepares for his blockbuster fight with Saul Alvarez.
The Briton will climb up two weight divisions to take on the formidable Mexican for the WBC middleweight title on May 7 at the newly-opened T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
And Khan’s transformation in the build-up to what is arguably the most-anticipated bouts of the year so far has been significantly radical.
So much, in fact, that the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight king admits he even surprised himself when he saw the results.
“When I first posted the picture of myself in the gym, it went viral,” he said, speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport from his training base in San Francisco.”Maybe it was the angle it was taken at. Even when I saw the picture, I thought: “Woah, am I really that big?” Maybe it was the lighting that I looked a lot bigger!
“But yes, I have filled out a lot more and I do feel a lot stronger and more powerful. And that’s all part of the game plan.”
The game plan is coming together nicely, Khan admits, as the count down to what he describes as the “biggest fight of his life” gathers pace.He has been in training camp for eight months. It begun in Doha, Qatar towards the end of last year, before he based himself in California with his respected trainer Virgil Hunter.
“I’ve been out in San Francisco since January 1. I was in New York for a week for the New Year and came straight here,” added Khan.
“Before then, I was training in Doha in Qatar. This camp for me has been for eight months and nobody until now has really known that.”Obviously you don’t get this big in just two months ahead of the biggest fight of your life, so I’ve been training for quite a long time.”
As our exclusive video shows, Khan has been putting the hard graft in at the gym with an intense training regime.
And that, coupled with his strict nutritional programme, has seen him substantially bulk up in such a quick space of time.
“I’ve been taking a lot of protein, especially MaxiMuscle Cyclone,” said the Bolton fighter, who is an ambassador for the nutritional sports science brand.
“Once the fight was agreed, I actually went to sit down with them and discuss my nutritional plan.
“I explained that I needed to move up a couple of weight divisions and they’ve given me all the right stuff with a proper plan and programme. I’ve followed it and it really has worked.”
High meat intake is crucial too, adds Khan, who varies from shakes to steaks.
And he revealed that his father, Shah, helps prepare his high-volume of meals along with a personal chef which he employs specifically during training camps for his big fights.
“I’m eating a lot of salads and steaks – lots of meat. I’m taking a lot of protein,” he said.
“My Dad helps prepare it for me and I’ve got a chef as well. She’s brilliant. Anything I need, it’s always ready for me for when I get home from training. Breakfast as well.
“I’ve always had a chef in camp over the last six or seven years.”
Although the fight is just weeks away, Khan admits he cannot get his rival ‘Canelo’ out of his head.
He’s ready to go to battle with the 25-year-old Mexican, who has lost just once to Floyd Mayweather Jnr in his impressive 48-fight career.
Khan, 29, has won 31 of his 34 fights and insists he cannot wait to step through the ropes for what is perhaps his sternest test to date.
“You don’t need to get motivated for it. It’s a motivation in itself,” he said.
“Everytime I switch on the TV or look on social media or go out, people are just talking “Canelo, Canelo” to me.
“When I wake up I think about him. When I go to sleep I think about him. Even while I’m having my breakfast I’m thinking about him!
“Nobody could motivate me any more than that to be honest. I’m passed that motivation stage.
“I just can’t wait to get in the ring now.”