It Doesn’t Matter
Every fighter wants to be their own man in and out of the ring. They develop a fighting style honed by an amateur career that is the foundation or pedigree if you will for professional fighting. 140lb contender Amir Khan a silver medal Olympic boxer, first trained in the US by Freddie Roach and now trained by Virgil Hunter is struggling to synchronize his amateur pedigree with his professional fight style and is suffering mightily for it.
Primarily an offensive fighter Khan’s deficits occur mainly on the defense, where he tends to drop his hands while punching and not react quickly to his opponents counters. He’s also accused of not having a chin, which I declare isn’t the case. Because Khan is leaky defensively while also not being able to react quickly he gets hit with punches that he doesn’t see coming. Khan also wants to perform for the fans and be an exciting fighter to the neglect of defensive technique, he hasn’t yet learned how to flow between defense and offense, which is a common trait of amateur fighters. In an amateur fight one fighter will throw punches while the other fighter defends and then the other fighter will punch while the first fighter defends, this pattern repeats throughout an amateur fight. As a pro, a fighter must know how to punch even while his opponent is punching, while also defending himself, while also mentally setting the opponent up, multitasking is the key for a championship calibre fighter.
Khan is caught up in the amateur pattern described above and whomever trains him has the enormous task of teaching him how to be defensive at the same time he’s being offensive. Former coach Freddie Roach said shortly after being fired by Khan “it doesn’t matter who trains him”. For Khan’s first fight under Hunter against Carlos Molina, Khan seemed to have settled into his fighting somewhat letting the fight come to him, but against the very experienced Julio Diaz, Khan seemed to have digressed, fighting impatiently unable to punch and defend simultaneously. Under pressure is where Khan is at his worst, it is during these times where Khan loses his place in a fight and doesn’t know what to do. Khan then wastes a lot of energy running around the ring in a panic, throwing ‘keep off me punches’ and is in the most danger of being KO’d. Khan also spends too much time in a fight in survival mode and not enough time boxing calmly, setting traps and working his game plan – specifically designed for the fighter in front of him. Lastly, Khan’s inability to mentally adjust in a fight is another defect that whomever trains Khan needs to work on, but until ALL of Khan’s deficiencies are addressed, like Freddie Roach said, It Doesn’t Matter…