Boxing


Former Heavyweight King Michael Moorer Talks About Being Freddie Roach's Assistant Trainer

09.03.09 - by James Slater - Former light-heavyweight standout and former two-time heavyweight world champion Michael Moorer is already a well known and respected figure from his chosen sport. However, the man who made boxing history by becoming the first ever southpaw heavyweight champion of the world is now trying to reinvent himself as a trainer..

Currently working with the great Freddie Roach at his Wild Card gym in LA, Moorer has been helping fighters such as Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan get ready for their upcoming fights. According to Roach, who spoke with Sky Sports, his new first assistant is a much nicer guy today compared to in his fighting days.

"Michael's a pretty good teacher," Roach said. "He told me he was going to come down [to the gym] one day. So I said, 'Why don't you come and help me, Michael?' He's a really, really different person now he's a trainer, he wasn't always a nice person as a fighter."

Moorer, who is probably still remembered best for a fight he lost - the 10th round KO at the hands of "Big" George Foreman in Nov. 1994 - was a fighter who was able to come back from such a devastating loss. Now working with Amir Khan, who, of course, is still in the process of coming back from his own devastating KO defeat, Moorer believes he can help the 22-year-old a lot.

The heavyweight champ from the 1990's also spoke to Sky Sports recently.

"Everything's good, I love what I do," Moorer said. "I love being a teacher. I'm trying to teach mental toughness, because you have to have that in boxing. I know I was difficult [to train] at times, but I don't carry that around with me now. If fighters are receptive to what I'm teaching them then they'll amount to something I believe, because I had great teachers."

Naturally, Sky Sports asked Moorer about the upcoming Khan-Barrera fight. Moorer said Khan can definitely win, and that he must put the loss to Breidis Prescott behind him.

"Amir can't look at that loss [to Prescott] as anything. That's in the past," Moorer said. "There's a winner and a loser in boxing - just like when I fought Foreman. I came back and won another title. I'm trying to teach Amir how to overcome things like pressure.

"I think the fight against Barrera is absolutely perfect timing. This is a part of boxing, he's in with the lions now. I was in his shoes before. I was put in with the lions and I was victorious. Amir can be victorious with the right people behind him."

The now 41-year-old former champ spoke in depth about how he sees Saturday night's intriguing fight going.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," Moorer said. "Barrera's a cagey veteran, he's a very good boxer, he's a very good counter-puncher and he packs a lot of power. But he's getting a little bit too old now. All them hard fights have worn him down I think.

"Amir has to make it his fight and be the dictator. If he can do that and establish his jab, I think he'll come out victorious."

Moorer added that he will unfortunately not be in Manchester for the fight on Saturday, but that he will be looking after the gym and will also be working with Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card.

Smiling during some of the interview, Moorer said he is having fun again. Maybe he will go on to carve out a real reputation as one of the sport's better trainers.

Article posted on 08.03.2009



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