What’s Next-Amir Kahn

By: Luke Clapham
Follow me @LukeClapham84

So it’s been over a week now since Amir Khan was knocked out by Danny Garcia in their light-welterweight unification fight in Las Vegas, Nevada and many boxing fans, myself included are asking the question, what next for Amir ‘King’ Khan? A lot of boxing fans and experts alike are calling for Amir to drop his Hall Of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in favour of a trainer with the expertise in keeping a tight guard, much like that of all time great Emmanuel Steward, and I have to say I agree.

Amir Khan has risen through the world of boxing since his silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2004 and was blowing opponents away with blistering hand speed and overwhelming power and was sitting with a record of 18-0 before facing Breidis Prescott in 2008. Now I’m sure boxing fans won’t need reminding of what happened during the worse round of Amir’s career to date. What was realised was that Amir doesn’t have a chin and was slaughtered by the press and UK boxing fans alike, many saying he would never win a world title if he was getting caught out by a journeyman like Prescott, where did Amir go from here?

As it transpires the Prescott defeat seemed to be a blessing in disguise, Amir teamed up with legendary trainer Freddie Roach in LA at the world renowned Wild Card Gym, working alongside P4P king Manny Pacquiao. Khan went on to win his next 8 fights showing world class hand speed and footwork, winning the WBA International lightweight title, WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title, WBA lightweight title before moving up to light-welterweight and winning the WBA and IBF world titles, everything seemed to be going swimmingly right? Wrong, I have followed Amir Khan’s career closely and I could see many flaws in his boxing.

As the boxing world already knew, Amir Khan doesn’t have a chin, but could use his hand speed and footwork to utilise his stiff jab, stepping in and out landing fast, mesmerising shots without taking punishment in return, but one thing Amir has is a big heart and he seems to want to prove he has a chin by getting involved in tear ups, leaving his guard down and getting hit. In 2010 Amir faced the tough Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas, defending his WBA light-welterweight title, after dropping Maidana in the early rounds the fight eventually went to distance with Khan very close to be stopped in the final 2 rounds after allowing himself to get into a tear up, he survived and everything seemed to have gone to plan, right? Wrong, again.

After a convincing win against Zab ‘Super’ Judah, again in Las Vegas, to retain his WBA and win the IBF light-welterweight titles, Amir faced Lamont Peterson, we all know what happened after this fight with regarded to Peterson’s failed drug test and Amir being reinstated as WBA champion, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that yet again Amir was allowing himself to be hit and pushed up against the ropes, it’s as if he want to show he can be hit which is so frustrating for us fans as we know he has the attributes to win fights by using his set of skills to his advantage.

The question I ask is this, is Freddie Roach to blame for Amir not sticking to his game plan? To a certain extent I think he is, Freddie isn’t known as a defensive coach, his fighters fight on the front foot and this has spelt bad news for Amir in his defeats to Peterson and Garcia, along with the fact that Amir seems hell bent on proving he has a chin when he doesn’t, a brutal KO defeat was only a matter of time for Amir Khan, this happened to be at the hands of a huge underdog in Danny Garcia. Take nothing away from ‘Swift’, he fought a good fight and caught Amir with his trademark left counter, but Amir should never have been in the position to let that shot land, this is what Amir Khan needs to work on.

Amir Khan needs a fresh start, he needs to work on his defence, get his hands up, step I’m and unload shots then step out before taking any punishment of his own, Amir has a lightening quick jab and he needs to use it. Personally I can see him walking away from Roach, teaming up with Steward or even back in the UK with the likes of Adam Booth would be a smart move, he needs to refocus himself on the sport and fight using his speed. Will Amir ‘King’ Khan be a world champion for a third time, in my opinion yes he will, he is only 25 and has the experience of coming back from the Prescott defeat, that will work in his advantage.

Don’t be surprised to see Amir Khan as a world champion again, it will take a lot of hard work on his part, but he will come back, stronger, wiser, and better than ever.

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