Boxing


Amir Khan: Could It Be Time For A New Trainer?

Amir KhanBy Vivek Wallace: How good is Amir Khan? For the better part of roughly 6 years now, many have asked this very question. On 26 nights, the rhetorical response to this rhetorical question was "good enough"; however, twice now, we've learned that perhaps maybe not, as Bolton's badboy and all the hoopla surrounding him was figuratively laid to rest....again. At one point, the general consensus was that the only way to defeat him would be by way of knockout. After suffering such a fate and vowing never to see it repeat, Khan improved his durability with a measured toughness that would prevent it from happening again. Thus far it has worked, but D.C. native Lamont Peterson was crafty enough to find yet another way to defeat Khan. A more conventional way....perhaps the harder way.....which merely cost him 12 grueling rounds, a sore pair of ribs, and a ton of heart.

In the aftermath, now that Khan has learned there is indeed more than one way to defeat him, what next? Underground rumors had it that Goldenboy Promotions was setting the stage for a potential Mayweather showdown. Now that we know that dog won't hunt, again we ask the rhetorical question surrounding Khan: What next? Does he stay at 140 and attempt to do with Peterson what he vowed never to "waist his time" doing again with Prescott, and attempt to remove a pass blemish? Does he attempt to face another cupcake with decent name recognition to attempt to regain confidence?

Each of those options are on the table for consideration, but one other option remains available, and despite the strong contingent that would disagree, perhaps this option remains the most prominent and perhaps the most necessary. That option? Consider a new trainer. Recent Hall of Famer Freddie Roach remains one of the most sought after and equally humble trainers in the sport, but one common flaw found even amongst the greatest in his stable parallels the reason for the latest setback in the kingdom of Khan. When you look at Roach's main pupils, (Pacquiao, Chavez, Khan), each man steps in the ring with the same blueprint. Flurry, move, flurry, move. In a recent interview with Percy Crawford at FightHype.com, Floyd Mayweather Snr. recently spoke about the fact that he couldn't understand why a fighter with Khan's size doesn't have a solid jab?

This was a keen observation by a man known to preach fundamentals. The most fundamental punch in the sport, yet the best true boxer in Roach's stable continues to fail at utilizing it, and pays a dear price every time out, receiving unnecessary beatings in the interim. With the size, skill, and ability of Khan, there's no way he should be this far behind the curve fundamentally, and at the end of the day this is all that separates him and many of his contemporaries amongst today's elite. Several around the sport have agreed, commented, and taken note.

When the smoke clears, it should be duly noted that Roach is in fact one of the best trainers in the sport today, and Khan is potentially one of the best athletes in the sport today; however, one could argue that the tandem of the two collectively simply isn't a good fit. Roach does well with the highly-durable-yet-stylistically-incurable. In other words, those warriors who don't need great defense to add to there birth-delivered package of goods. In the case of Khan, he has the athleticism and length to package great skills along with his new found durability, yet possibly hasn't joined forces with a coach who could put it all together. There are a ton of other trainers in the world of boxing whose style may be a bit more concentrated on Khan's particular assets. Some may disagree, but for those in the mood to chew on this topic, I ask: Is a new leader the move necessary for Khan to take the next step in the evolution of his career? Just a thought......

(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, Youtube (Vivek1251), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing) and FaceBook).

Article posted on 15.12.2011



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