By James Slater: It seems ace trainer Freddie Roach has been immensely impressed with the talents and the possibilities of Amir Khan. So much so that Freddie will put his retirement plans on hold so as to work with the WBA 140-polund champion until he achieves all he can achieve.
Roach at one time said he would retire from his duties as a boxing trainer once his star pupil and Pound-for-Pound king Manny Pacquiao called it quits. However, as has been reported in a feature in UK newspaper The Sun, Roach has changed his mind, and even though he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the former fighter-turned coach will stick around to work with the Bolton man.
“Manny [Pacquiao] has won all his world titles with Freddie and Freddie said he would quit when Pac-Man retired,” Khan said. “But he’s told me he wants to carry on because he enjoys working with me so much. For him to say that shows he must have a lot of confidence in me. It gave me a big lift and Freddie has told me that he believes in me like he believes in Manny.”
So, can “King” Khan take over from Pacquiao as Roach’s star when the Filipino icon finally walks away from the sport? Khan certainly has tremendous skill and Roach clearly sees incredible potential in the close-to-his-peak former Olympian. The big test Khan must pass if he’s to achieve all that Roach feels he can comes this Saturday night in Las Vegas. Will Roach stick with Khan if Marcos Maidana ruins things by way of an upset KO win?
Khan doesn’t see that happening, and neither does Roach. Freddie has gone on record as saying he feels Khan will score a late-rounds stoppage, while Amir himself has said he feels he will win either by mid-rounds stoppage or by clear unanimous decision.
Khan has now won five in a row since hooking up with Roach, and he has worked hard to make the shocker he fell victim to against puncher Breidis Prescott become a distant memory. Make no mistake, though, people will be calling Khan a “chinny” hype-job if he comes a cropper in his Las Vegas debut!
But Khan continues to talk about what he hopes will come after he’s “shut up a lot of people” by defeating the lethal Argentine destroyer. And, with Freddie’s help, Khan wants to take on and defeat the great Floyd Mayweather Junior!
“I’m in boxing to fight the very best out there,” Khan said. “And that means Floyd Mayweather right now for me. Ricky [Hatton] went to Vegas and met the best to try and prove that he was the best and I will continue where Ricky failed. Manny knows that Floyd will never fight him and it could be me that gets in the ring with Floyd.
“That is a real fight!”
Khan has been talking about a possible clash with “Money” for a while now. At first (and maybe even still) fans scoffed at the very idea of the Brit going in there with the unbeaten master. But Golden Boy are very much up for the fight, and as long as Khan keeps on winning, who knows?
One thing we do know: Khan has the best available trainer out there with Roach; and if anyone can help the 23-year-old beat a legend like Mayweather, it is the owner of The Wild Card Gym in L.A!