Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Khan Should Still Be Champ ; Bolton Boxer's New Trainer on the Mistakes Which Have Led to Amir's Slip

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Khan Should Still Be Champ ; Bolton Boxer's New Trainer on the Mistakes Which Have Led to Amir's Slip

Article excerpt

VIRGIL Hunter insists Amir Khan would still be world champion if the former double light-welterweight king had joined him sooner.

Khan split with super trainer Freddie Roach following successive defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.

Saturday night will be his first fight with new coach Hunter when he takes on Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old hopes to regain his belts in 2013 and prove himself the best lightwelterweight in the world. But Hunter says he never should have lost his WBA crown in the first place - when suffering a fourth round knockout at the hands of Garcia in July. He points to crucial mistakes made in the build up to that fight when Garcia's father Angel riled Khan with comments about his heritage.

At the time the clearly wound-up Brit responded: "I'm going to hurt his son. I'm going to do it in the ring. I cannot wait until after the fight, when I've knocked his son out and I'm stood here with the titles.

"It's funny when he said he's never seen a Pakistani fight. He's going to see a Pakistani fight on Saturday and knock his son out."

It was Khan who ended up being knocked out and Hunter insists he should never have been allowed to get so emotional ahead of the fight.

"Look, he understood why things went the way they did," said the coach. "We're talking about an exceptional fighter here.

"We're talking about an exceptional fighter that had some moments that you just can't lay it all on him.

"It's a team effort and he's in the heat of the moment, and he's going to do what he's supposed to do. He's a fighter to the heart, and he's going to fight. When I look at the Garcia fight, that fight was made dangerous for Amir long before the fight ever took place because when the initial press conference happened and Mr Garcia got up and began to say enough to rile up this young man, at that point, someone should have interceded. …

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