On the ATP Tour, there isn’t a bigger boxing fan than No. 2 Andy Murray, who has long followed the sport.
Murray, who has won the United Kingdom’s top sportsman award two of the past three years, has also been friends with a fellow Brit, Amir Khan, who will have the biggest fight of his career when he takes on Canelo Alvarez on May 7.
However, Khan is taking a big risk, moving up to the 155-pound catchweight to fight the bigger Alvarez. Khan’s biggest success came in the 140-pound weight class. While Khan was undefeated at 147, going 5-0. But one of those fights, Khan was on his heals against Julio Diaz after getting knocked down and trying to survive at the end.
“It’s a huge decision for him I think to take that fight,” Murray said. “He goes in as a huge underdog, stepping up a couple of weights against a young guy who has only lost once against Mayweather.
“He obviously believes in himself, otherwise I don’t know why he would have taken that fight.” Andy Murray on Amir Khan fighting Canelo Alvarez
“I think it would be a very, very tough fight for him to win. He obviously believes in himself, otherwise I don’t know why he would have taken that fight.”
Khan used to work out with Pacquiao and they were friends and they shared the same trainer, Freddie Roach. Pacquiao will have a third fight against Timothy Bradley, who lived near the BNP Paribas Open, the tennis tournament Murray was playing.
Pacquiao has said the April 9 fight in Las Vegas would be his last fight as he will turn his attention to politics fulltime. A congressman in the Philippines, Pacquiao is currently running for a senate seat.
“I guess when someone has made their mind up to retire, you never know where they’re going to be at mentally,” Murray said. “So it will be a good fight.”
During the BNP Paribas Open, Mike Tyson attended the tournament. While Murray didn’t get a chance to meet Iron Mike, he admired the career he carved out.
“He was obviously a very dangerous guy in the ring and extremely intimidating for his opponents,” Murray said. “I was obviously very young when he was fighting, but I saw a couple of his fights towards the latter stage of his career.