By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan’s former trainer Freddie Roach believes that if a fight between Khan and WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr (46-0, 26 KOs) takes place in the near future, Khan would triumph largely due to his superior hand speed. Roach, who has no love lost with Khan, feels that Khan’s youth and hand speed advantage would be the telling factor in a clash against the soon to be 38-year-old Mayweather.
“I’m convinced his legs are shot,” Roach said via theGuardian.co.uk. “Look at the first four rounds of the first [Maidana] fight. Great fighters in later years often go to the ropes as they slow down, but he got into trouble there. He was under a lot of pressure. Mayweather at his best would never fight like that.”
What’s interesting is that Roach focuses exclusively on Mayweather’s fight against Marcos Maidana from last May to support his belief that Mayweather has lost his legs rather than on the recent positive fights that Mayweather has had against better fighters like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Robert Guerrero.
“It is his [Khan] speed that would be the difference. He’s just too fast for Mayweather,” Roach said.
It’s hard to see where Roach’s angle is in making these comments. Normally, Roach takes shots at Mayweather in what seems like a transparent attempt to get him riled up so that he’ll fight one of his fighters like Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto. But in this case, Roach just seems to be taking a wild shot out of nowhere, and it just looks like Roach is venting his frustration by making the comment. If Mayweather won’t fight any of his fighters then taking a shot at him will have to satisfy Roach instead.
Khan does have fast hands, but he’s been timed before and knocked out by Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott. In Khan’s loss to Lamont Peterson, Khan got walked down for 12 rounds and couldn’t handle the body punches from Peterson on the inside. That was a fight in which Khan used shoving to try and keep Peterson off of him. The referee got tired of watching Khan bend the rules for lack of an inside game so he took two points off from him.
A Khan-Mayweather fight could take place next year if Khan can pick up a significant win in December when he gets back in the ring again. His adviser Al Haymon might end up playing it safe with Khan by putting him in another easy fight instead of matching him against an opponent with a reasonable chance of beating him.