Virgil Hunter: Khan doesn’t have a chin problem
By William Mackay: Trainer Virgil Hunter doesn’t see any problem with Amir Khan’s chin. Instead, he sees Khan’s knockout losses as being the result of poor decisions he’s made in fights. That’s good to know because I was under the impression that Khan’s chin was fragile after he got staggered from a jab from Breidis Prescott and subsequently knocked out in one round, and then stopped by Danny Garcia after taking a hard left to the neck in the third round last July. Khan was then knocked out a round later by Garcia.
Speaking with the Daily Mirror, Hunter said “I think think he [Khan] has a chin problem. It was some of the decisions he made after he took the first punch that cost him the fight against Garcia. Amir has what it takes to get back to the top of the mountain.”
I’m now wondering whether Hunter actually saw the Khan-Garcia fight because his description of things seems to run counter to what actually happened. After Khan was hurt by Garcia in the 3rd, he was trying his hardest to survive in the remainder of the round and in the 4th. Khan was too hurt by that point and taking punishment even when he was trying to clinch. There was no way that Khan could survive, so his decision making had nothing to do with him getting knocked out. Garcia was too good at cutting off the ring, and Khan was on bambi legs from the moment he was knocked down in the 3rd. That made it even easier for Garcia to catch up to him and stop him.
Khan’s loss to Prescott couldn’t have been avoided either because Prescott staggered Khan with a jab in the opening seconds of the fight. If you can’t even take a jab to the head then there’s not much you can do. All Prescott did was smash Khan with a follow up left hook after staggering him with his jab. Khan couldn’t have backed away after getting staggered by the jab because his legs weren’t there.
I like the idea of a fighter being smart in the ring, but sometimes it goes beyond just being smart. If you can’t take a hard shot without getting hurt, it doesn’t matter how well you respond after you’ve been hurt. Khan could have clinched Garcia and Prescott, but I don’t think it would have changed anything at all in those fights.
Khan was going to get knocked out no matter what he tried. Khan did luck out in his fight with Marcos Maidana after getting staggered in the 10th, but I think a large part of that was due to the referee Joe Cortez breaking the action while Maidana was trying to finish Khan off. I couldn’t understand why Cortez got in the way of Maidana while he had Khan badly hurt on the ropes. At one point, Khan had Maidana’s left arm pinned down and Maidana was bludgeoning Khan with right hands to the head one after another. Instead of letting Maidana pound the badly hurt Khan until he dropped or let go of Maidana’s arm, Cortez stopped the action and then gave Khan a fresh start.