By Michael Collins: Recently there’s been talk of trainer Emanuel Steward being in the running for the position as new trainer for former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KO’s), if Khan decides to boot current trainer Freddie Roach. However, I’m skeptical about Steward being able to help Khan’s game in any real way.
If Khan’s fragile chin can’t take a healthy shot without him getting blasted out then I think even Steward would be a fail for him. Steward does well with giant heavyweights that have a built in height and reach advantage over their opponents. Khan, 5’10”, is taller than the average light welterweight but not that much taller to where he can just stay on the outside without ever getting his fragile chin touched.
Besides that, Khan has huge ambitions about wanting to move up in weight to the welterweight division, and I doubt Steward would be able to talk him out of that. If you put Khan in with someone like Andre Berto or Victor Ortiz, just to name a couple of guys at welterweight, Khan is going to have serious problems once he gets hit hard by them. Steward might be able to help Khan a little bit if he can talk some sense into him by steering him away from his dream of fighting at welterweight. He’s probably not going to be able to success at that weight apart from getting a big payday fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr if Khan doesn’t have to fight anyone good at that weight to get that shot.
Steward does well with fighters that listen to him and follow his instructions. Can Khan follow Steward’s advice at all times? I doubt it. Khan seems to get overconfident in the ring and he tries to slug with guys he has business doing that with. I can’t see Khan breaking from that mold even with Steward as his trainer. You can have the best trainer and still do poorly if you don’t learn what they’re teaching and follow their instructions in the ring.
For Khan to have success in the remainder of his career he’s going to have to be a robot in the ring and follow whatever advice his trainer gives him. If he picks Steward then fine but he’s got to follow what he’s saying and stay away from the welterweight division. I still feel that Khan will struggle against the best opponents even with Steward helping him, because you’ve got to have a chin to beat the best fighters and I think Khan is too susceptible in that department to be able to consistently beat the best without getting knocked out from time to time.