x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Amir Khan looks for back to basics approach under new coach Virgil Hunter

The former Olympic medal winner split with Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach ahead of his forthcoming bout with Carlos Molina as he looks to get his fight career back on track.

British boxer Amir Khan is looking for a change of direction after back to back losses
British boxer Amir Khan is looking for a change of direction after back to back losses

Amir Khan admits he is ready to return to boxing's basics under new coach Virgil Hunter following his split from Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach.

Khan, who will meet Carlos Molina in Los Angeles in December, severed his ties with Roach following back-to-back defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.

The former double champion blamed a lack of training time with Roach, who heads up the Filipino star's fight camp, as one of the key reasons behind his decision to switch to Hunter.

He said: "The reason I had to change trainer is because when you are always winning a fight you never look at the bad points but when you lose a fight you sit down with your team and you go through the whole camp and where you think you went wrong.

"Freddie is a great trainer but I wasn't getting everything I wanted.

"Freddie is a very busy guy and one of the best trainers in the world, I personally the one who called Freddie on the phone and told him I would no longer be training with him."

The 25-year-old spoke to several trainers, including Floyd Mayweather Snr, in his hunt for a replacement before settling on the highly regarded Hunter, who coached Andre Ward to his super six victory over Carl Froch.

"The first thing I said to him was that you have Andre Ward and I hope you are not going to be busy like Freddie was with Manny Pacquiao and I do get 100 per cent of your time," Khan said.

"He made it clear he is going to be with me 100 per cent and whenever I need him he is going to be there - he wants a fighter/trainer relationship where we speak together and get on well together."

Following defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, the former Olympic medal winner is looking to sort the deficiencies in his skillset - particularly the defensive lapses which have proved his Achilles heel in recent bouts.

He said: "I'm still not 100 per cent, I've still got room for improvement and it is maybe going back to the basics and looking at where I make mistakes and improving them.

"I'm an offensive fighter and I need my trainer to teach me the defensive part of training whilst at the same time remaining as offensively good.

"So that is what we are going to be working on, we know exactly what we have to do. We have never really had a defence if you think about it."

"What Virgil wants me to do is go back to the boxing again but be a smart boxer and understand what I have to do.

"That is a big part on Virgil too because he has to teach me what he wants me to do and it is about sticking to a game plan because sometimes when I see red I forget about the game plan and go all out."


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