One year ago Khan lay battered, knocked out in under a minute by Colombian Breidis Prescot. Destroyed and despondent Khan sacked his trainer, picked himself up and searched out one of the best trainers in the world, Freddie Roach. Roach trains Pacquiao so at the very least Khan had good training company!
Pacquiao has improved hugely under Roach and Khan could expect to also. The recent clip I posted of Pacquiao training gives a little insight into at least some of the methods Roach uses. Intense training with fresh sparring partners coming in to test the fighter.
Amir Khan is now WBA World Champion after he beat Andreas Kotelnik with a landslide unanimous decision showing a lot of improvement in terms of workrate, defence and movement. Clearly, Roach’s strategy to avoid a repeat of the Prescot debacle was to make Khan harder to knock out. By keeping Khan working, throwing an enourmous number of lightening fast shots makes him difficult to be hit, this coupled with improved movement and defence frustrated Kotelnik. Although not completely illusive Khan managed to bob, weave and side step his opponent, even becoming Mayweather-esque at times!!
Kotelnik probably expected Khan to run out of gas and then be able to pick him off with bit KO punches. This never looked on the cards.
Training with Pacquiao has to improve your footwork, even if you just copy and try to match him. That in itself can only help. As Roach said after the fight, Khan is still very young, 22, there’s a lot of improvement possible. Training at the Wild Card will improve him more and more.
Earlier in his career he didn’t look too convincing. There was always heart in your mouth moments, this preformance was much more assured, he really looked the part. He has room for improvement but if he learns like Pacquiao has as a result of Roach’s influence, the future is very bright for Khan.
Talking after the fight Roach explained: “We’ve got to learn how to deal with guys who put pressure on because guys are going to watch this tape and see he had a little trouble with the pressure. It’s something we’ll work on, of course. It gives us some great stuff to work on in the gym. We’ll sit down and watch the tape and he will improve.”