During a Tuesday press conference designed to promote his upcoming bout against substandard Mexican Carlos Molina on December 15 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, bush league pugilist Amir Khan had the audacity to proclaim Boxing Hall of Famer Freddie Roach wasn’t retained because Parkinson’s disease was affecting his ability to teach.
Khan (26-3, 18 KOs), a Pakistani-British boxer who at 17 became the youngest Englishman to win an Olympic medal when he captured silver as a lightweight at the 2004 games in Greece, relinquished his WBA world light welterweight belt in July by suffering a brutal fourth round TKO loss to WBC light welterweight champion “Swift” Danny Garcia at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After being battered by Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs), “King Khan” decided to stop working with Roach and instead hired reigning Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year Virgil Hunter.
“Freddie’s illness, it’s very hard to see him as he’s getting older,” said Khan, 25, who had teamed with Roach since 2008 and became one of the most youthful British world champs ever at the age of 22. “Freddie, with the Parkinson’s disease, he was struggling with instructions and couldn’t move. I believe that he’s getting worse, and I wish him all the best. Freddie is still, with the Parkinson’s disease, doing a great job working the mitts and working with fighters day in and day out. I just believe that I need someone who is going to work me that bit harder and get the best out of me.”
Some onlookers and pundits contend that Roach, a native of Dedham (Mass.) who was voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the Boxing Writers Association of America, focused too much of his efforts working with Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines.
It is evident that Khan, who along with his younger brother, Haroon, successfully managed to fight off armed thugs trying to steal the former titlist’s expensive Range Rover last month in Birmingham, requires undivided attention and he couldn’t get that working with Roach.
Unfortunately for Khan, “Freddie’s illness” never caused consecutive defeats and it’s remarkably irresponsible that the battered bloke spoke publicly about Roach’s degenerative disorder.
Amir Khan, who is “getting worse” in the squared circle, proved to be an extremely overrated prizefighter this summer in “Sin City” and there was nothing that Freddie Roach or Virgil Hunter could have done to mask the Brit’s flatly mediocre skills.by