Amir Khan’s debacle
By Frank Walsh: Heading into his scheduled fight against Danny Garcia, many observers felt that Amir Khan was slightly looking past Garcia and towards a possible encounter against Floyd Mayweather. At times it sounded as if Khan was focused on one or two fights beyond Garcia instead of putting all of his focus on the present and now.
And so on July 14th in Mandalay Bay, Khan entered the ring to springboard from Garcia into the upper echelon of the welterweight division, where boxing’s superstars reside. In typical khan fashion, he exploded from the starting block’s. Peppering Garcia with blinding combinations, early signs were positive for khan. Two elements would decide this fight. Having the smarts not to trade with Garcia and the ticking time bomb that existed against big punchers, Khan’s chin. In the words of Danny Garcia “timing beats speed”. This proved correct when in the final 30 seconds of round 3, Garcia detonated that time bomb, and the beginning of the end unfolded, leading to a fourth round TKO win for Garcia.
In the weeks following this it became apparent through media interviews and quotes, that Khan was shifting blame from his own shoulders. Citing being a third class citizen in the roach camp playing a large role in his progress as a fighter. Whilst perhaps it may have affected progress to an extent, Khan’s lack of discipline in following instructions is where the blame should be placed for losses to Garcia and Lamont Peterson. Ignoring his clear advantage in speed and engaging with proven punchers toe to toe, when in reality he could avoid for the most part placing himself in the firing line. Yes times arrive when your dragged into the trenches, but this is constant with khan. Most likely the criticism of his chin leads to his display of machismo. In the end its the chip on his shoulder that’s losing him key fights. Whilst the heart he displayed against Garcia and Marcos Maidana is admirable, lessons have clearly not been learned.
Freddie roach spoke to media outlets about the split from amir khan. Whilst it seems amicable, Roach commented that he first learned of khan’s decision online. Roach commented further that he has tried for year’s to change khan’s mentality with no success, and doesn’t believe it will ever change. Khan requested that roach drop Julio Chavez Jr and cash cow Manny Pacquiao in order for him to remain at the wildcard gym. That request is quite frankly absurd. Deciding to join Virgil Hunter’s camp, he has basically placed himself in the same position, second to super middleweight world champion, Andre Ward. Perhaps a change in training camp and partners will push Amir Khan beyond the boundaries he has reached before and onto the mega fights with Mayweather and Pacquiao. Now is the time to rebuild from the foundations up with a smarter defence. Some fighters can afford these mistakes whilst khan does not have the funds in his arsenal to afford mistakes against the sports elite. Shifting blame on circumstances is pointless, when it is clear unless khan addresses the changes required to his ring style, the same result will be repeated when faced with the sports best punchers.