Freddie Roach Fears Former Charge Amir Khan Will Box Well But Will Ultimately Get Tagged By Terence Crawford: “In All The Fights He’s Been Knocked Out, He’s Been Ahead”
This Saturday night, former 140 pound champ Amir Khan will get what is almost certainly his last chance at greatness. Khan has done a whole lot in the sport, winning multiple big fights that can never be taken away from him – see his wins over Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Andreas Kotelnik and Devon Alexander – yet despite this he has a reputation he does not like: that of a ‘chinny’ fighter who always loses the big one.
A win over the unbeaten Crawford would go a long, long way towards removing this unflattering (and not altogether accurate) rep. But can Khan, at age 32, box the perfect fight and upset the defending WBO welterweight champion? The odds say no, as do most experts – including the man who perhaps knows Khan, 33-4(20) better than anyone: his former long-time trainer, Freddie Roach.
Speaking with Boxing Social, Freddie said that Khan will do well for a time, that he is faster than Crawford, but that ultimately Khan’s zest to go for the KO will cost him. Badly.
“If Amir can stick to the game-plan and box for 12 rounds he can do really, really well, because he is a great boxed,” Roach said. “He has all the skill in the world and he has a lot of speed, but at some point he will go foe the knockout and when he does that he will put himself in harm’s way and get knocked out. In all the fights he’s been knocked out, he’s been ahead. Terence Crawford is a good fighter but the thing is, the speed factor alone is too much for him. Amir has better speed and footwork but he has to put them together and be at his best. He has to win every round one at a time. But I believe Amir will be knocked out somewhere along the way because he has bad habits.”
It’s true Khan was winning the big fights he was eventually KO’d in (the Breidis Prescott 54-second disaster aside). Danny Garcia was losing until he tagged Khan, as was Canelo Alvarez, and the Lamont Peterson decision loss was in the opinion of many a robbery Khan suffered. But the problem is Khan has been downed in plenty of other fights. Bottom line, his chin is far from reliable (imagine if you will, a rock-chinned Amir Khan; how great would such a fighter have been?)
It seems Roach will be proven correct and at some stage in the fight – most likely around the eighth or ninth round – Crawford, 34-0(25) will hurt his challenger and get the go-ahead to put the finishing touches to his night’s work. Khan will lose again but he will give his all again. This may end up being how Khan is remembered: as a fine and brave and skilled fighter who never once featured in a dull fight. But would this be enough for Khan himself?