Roach: “Amir will do to him [Marquez] what he did to Marco Antonio Barrera”

Juan Manuel MarquezBy Harold Kupel: Freddie Roach, the trainer of World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan, is seemingly very confident of the 23-year-old Khan’s chances against Juan Manuel Marquez ahead of their planned May 15th bout. In an article with the Telegraph, Roach says “Amir will do to him [Marquez] what he did to Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester last year. He’ll [Khan] break him up.”

Khan defeated the 35-year-old Barrera by a 5 round technical decision in March 2009, a fight that pleased few fans because of the ending of it. Khan controlled almost every second of action against the former super featherweight star, but the bout was stopped in the 5th round because of a nasty head butt that opened up a huge cut on Barrera’s forehead. Barrera bled from the 1st round on until the fight was stopped.

Khan needs a victory over an old star like Marquez to help make a name for himself in the United States. Khan has fought his entire career in England, and only recently has decided to come over to the U.S. to try and become a star there.. Rather than fighting WBA light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana, who the WBA has ordered Khan to fight, Amir has decided to skip that fight – at least for the time being – to take on the much better known Marquez.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer reports that the Khan-Marquez fight could be signed without 48 hour. If so, Khan will have a huge fight put on his plate for his debut fight. It’s an excellent fight for the young Khan, because he would be benefiting greatly by fighting a popular fighter like Marquez without having the risk involved with fighting a big puncher like Maidana or the superb boxing skills of light welterweight champions Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander. Marquez looked less than impressive in his recent loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The hopes obviously on Khan’s management’s part is that Marquez has slipped enough to the point where he won’t destroy Khan the way he likely would have three years ago. It’s still a very dangerous fight for Khan, because he has a history of having a weak chin and Marquez is an excellent counter puncher. If he can connect with a counter shot after one of Khan’s flurries, Marquez has an excellent chance of hurting Khan. However, Marquez is going to have to stay on top of Khan, because he’s become more of a mover now that he’s trained by Roach.

If Khan can get by Marquez, his management hopes to get him another fight against an old lion like Zab Judah and then eventually a shot against Mayweather. They say they want to set up a fight against Maidana in the near future, but it’s hard to imagine that they will ever take that risk of putting Khan in with a big puncher like Maidana.

Article posted on 04.02.2010

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