By Michael Collins: Former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan is being matched against a lightweight in his next fight when he takes on unbeaten Carlos Molina (17-0, 7 KO’s) on Showtime on December 15th at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. This is a rebuilding fight for Khan, as he’s lost his last two fights against light welterweights and has looked terrible in both fights.
His former trainer Freddie Roach has been let go, and Khan is now being trained by Virgil Hunter, the same guy that trains WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward. The idea here is that Hunter will rebuild Khan and hopefully slow him down to where he’s not running around the ring in a senseless manner like he’s been doing his entire career. Hunter will then try also to fix Khan’s defense, which isn’t that bad. His defense isn’t the problem. It’s his chin and his tendency to trade too much.
Hunter will need to get cooperation from Khan in order for him to make the needed changes for Khan. Hunter may have problems getting Khan to follow his instructions, especially once Khan starts finding a little success with the soft matchmaking that’s likely going to continue even past the Molina mismatch.
Khan’s overconfidence causes him to try and trade with his opponents. He then gets knocked out because of that, and he’s once again put in with weak opposition to build his confidence. We saw that after Khan’s knockout loss to Breidis Prescott, and we’re now about to see it again now that he’s been stopped by Danny Garcia in his last fight.
Hunter is a great trainer, but his teaching may be lost on Khan if he can’t get him to follow his instructions. It’s like sending someone to the best schools. It’s no good unless they actually learn what’s being taught to them. If Khan goes out there and continues to trade with his opponents, he’s going to take additional knockouts in the future once Golden Boy starts putting him in with quality opposition once again. The Molina fight isn’t meant to be a competitive fight despite it being televised on Showtime as the main event.
Khan will eventually be slowly put back in with decent opposition, and that’s where I see him having major problems if he’s not able to follow Hunter’s instructions. If I were Hunter, I’d cut my losses and walk away from project if it appears that Khan isn’t following instructions because Hunter will end up with pie in his face once Khan gets knocked out again.