IF BOXER Amir Khan steps into the ring to fight the WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao next month he won’t be the town’s first fighter to have ‘been there and done that’.
He was beaten to it by Sam Fogg, 30, who took to the ring against Pacquiao in 2009 for a ‘contest’ in Manila where he was living at the time.
The former Turton School lad met the world champion in 2009 as part of a TV commercial for Rexona, an under arm deodorant, showing the boxing legend landing his famous left hook on Sam’s chin, and sending him flying backwards onto the canvas.
Sam said: “I had been backpacking around and had been in Manila for about six months, first working bag-packing and then got a job in a bar.
“When this modelling job came along, it was a few months after Manny had knocked out Ricky Hatton in two rounds in Las Vegas. The agency was looking for someone English and I had to dye my hair from black to ginger.
“To prepare for the role I had to do some shadow boxing, but essentially, when I got in the ring, Manny was doing all the work and I just had to go down at the right moment. I suppose I was filmed in the ring for about one hour and it wasn’t bad because I got £1,000 for doing it.”
Following his ‘defeat’ by the world champion, Sam worked at the British Embassy where he met and married another member of staff, Clarris, before returning home to Bolton last year with their two-year-old son, James.
Sam, who returned to Bolton last year with wife Clarris and son James, aged two, works for his father Garry’s concrete floor business and still has souvenirs of his day in the ring with Manny, including a pair of signed boxing gloves.
And as if to underline the task facing Amir Khan, Sam explained: “Manny comes across on the surface as a very nice very humble man, but underneath he is a tough guy.”
He added: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take a punch from a legend of the boxing world.”
Amir Khan 30, is set to meet Manny Pacquiao, 38, on April 23, in the United Arab Emirates, at a venue still to be determined.