• Light-welterweight

Khan's new trainer questions Roach's fading skills

ESPN staff
December 10, 2012
Amir Khan is preparing to return to the ring © Getty Images

Amir Khan's new trainer Virgil Hunter believes the 26-year-old's old coach Freddie Roach must take some of the blame for Khan's most recent defeat to Danny Garcia - calling into question Roach's skills after his main client, Manny Pacquiao, was also beaten at the weekend.

Pacquiao was knocked out in stunning fashion against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday evening in Las Vegas, in a performance that may have given Roach flashbacks of Khan's surprise defeat to Danny Garcia back in July.

The loss led the Bolton fighter to part ways with Roach, eventually pairing with dominant super-middleweight Andre Ward's guru Virgil Hunter in a bid to reignite his career. And Hunter is adamant poor coaching and management played a significant role in the Garcia loss.

"At the initial press conference, Garcia Sr got up and said some things that were enough to rile Amir and at that point, someone should have interceded," Hunter said.

"I would have got up and I would have interceded. If you take notice of that stuff you can lose focus.

"In the fight itself, Amir got up from a devastating punch - that punch would have put down any 140lb fighter. But Amir got back up and survived the third round.

"At that point a set of instructions should have been given to him to survive the next round. You are looking at a kid who can win five or six rounds in a row."

Khan is preparing to make his return to the ring against Carlos Molina this weekend, and Hunter does not believe he will need to rebuild the former Olympic medallist's confidence after his recent setbacks.

"I believe he could have got through that fight [against Garcia] so I really don't see where his confidence would be shattered like that," he added.

"If he had taken a beating and then got knocked out we might have had a confidence problem. But that wasn't the case and I am very pleased with his confidence level going into this fight.

"We are talking about an exceptional fighter but you can't lay it all on Khan over what happened in the last fight - it is a team effort."

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