IS THIS THE END FOR KHAN AND ROACH? AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR KHAN?
By: Craig Johns
Khan has revealed that he is looking for new coaches ahead of his return to the ring, with the date of December 15 set. He also revealed that he is looking at the prospect of bringing in mentors to help with the defensive side of his game.
Khan and Roach have worked together for three years now and, until the Bolton fighter’s defeat to Lamont Peterson last December, Khan was undefeated under the tutelage of Roach. Following the controversial points defeat to Peterson, Khan then went on to a crushing knockout defeat at the hands of Danny Garcia and as a result Roach’s approach has come under the spotlight.
Khan told the Star on Sunday: “I’m not even at my peak yet. I want to make a few changes and I am in talks to change trainers at the moment. I am looking at a few names but I don’t know if they are available.”
Khan has also revealed he is looking for a mentor and told the Manchester Evening News: “I’ll be going to New York to speak to a few coaches and maybe bring in a new mentor who can help me in defence. I’m mainly looking at ex-fighters, Bernard Hopkins, Oscar (De La Hoya), and maybe Shane Mosley, they all want to help out and show their support.
“If we had the defence we should have had we would be the best fighter in the world. That’s the downfall of me and Manny Pacquiao – we’re both offensively the best fighters in the world, but defensively we’re not the best.”
These comments from Khan seem to make a reunion with the pair highly unlikely and Roach has also admitted he doesn’t know anything about the situation and seemed to suggest he would prioritize Pacquiao.
Roach said to boxingscene.com: “I have not heard anything official from them. I heard they want to fight in December. No one has told me if I’m in or out. If Manny fights in December, he takes priority.”
It seems very likely then that come December 15th Khan will have a fresh face in his corner and already speculation has begun as to who that could be. Many have mentioned the name of another legendary Hall of Famer Manny Steward although he has a long-term affiliation with Wladimir Klitschko and may be unwilling to drop that meaning that it could be another split-time job, something Khan might be apprehensive to.
Another speculated name and perhaps more realistic is that of Adam Booth, coach of former World heavyweight champion David Haye. With a fight between Haye and Klitschko unlikely to materialise, Haye is not likely to fight again therefore possibly freeing enough time for Booth and Khan to form a partnership.
And what about Khan’s next opponent? Well again it has been hugely speculated as to who that might be with the most recent name being two-weight former world champion Joan Guzman. Guzman is reportedly not willing to wait around for the Olympic bronze medallist and is instead lining up a title shot at junior welterweight.
Amir Khan has himself rubbished the reports telling the Manchester Evening News: “I want someone who is a bit more credible than him. I’ve come from world title fights and he might be a little below that. We’re just getting the dates right. It will either be in England or America, December 15 is the date.”
Whoever the opponent it is certain to be a must-win fight for the 25 year-old with the task of coming back from three consecutive defeats surely too much. However, at 25 he is still very young and still has years of service to the sport providing he can work on his defence.
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