Freddie Roach Needs To Talk Sense Into Amir Khan


By Charles Jay

In a Washington Post article before his loss to Lamont Peterson, in which Amir Khan insisted it was NO problem whatsoever fighting a touch challenger in his hometown, trainer Freddie Roach was quoted as saying, “The thing is, the ring’s the same size in L.A. that it is in Washington, and we have a new crowd there, and we’re going to impress that new crowd,” I think it’s the sign of a true champion.”

Maybe it’s time for Roach to tell his charge that another sign of a true champion is that he doesn’t continue to cry and make himself look like such a piker in the wake of his title defeat.

Khan has been trying to get the decision changed in the Peterson fight, or at least have the WBA or IBF force a rematch. He has no idea whether he will be successful in doing that, and meanwhile, there have been some noises about Peterson fighting Manny Pacquiao, if other options for PacMan don’t pan out.

That would certainly place Roach in a precarious position, since he trains both Khan and Pacquiao. Theoretically, he doesn’t really have anything to say about that, although I guess he could tell Pacquiao. “This kid is all wrong for you” in order to talk Pacquiao off Peterson as a prospective opponent.

That’s not likely. And if it happens like that, I wonder if that would strain the relationship with Khan, who wants to blame other people and other things for getting beat in the nation’s capital. Fighters have been known to blame trainers and make a change because of it, and it would not be the most unusual thing in the world, if a Pacquiao-Peterson fight did indeed materialize, for Khan to figure out a way to get out of Roach’s gym.

But for now, the two are together, and while they are together, Roach should advise Khan that he is starting to sound a little stupid, and it really isn’t doing him a lot of good.

Khan recently told a UK reporter: “Peterson is afraid. If the rematch happens, I will definitely knock him out to prove to fans that I deserved the win.”

Okay, well, I don’t want to sound like a guy who’s sitting on a barstool, but quotes like that beg questions like, (1) Assuming Lamont Peterson wasn’t afraid when he fought Khan the first time; (a) What would make Lamont Peterson MORE afraid the next time, and (b) If Khan was so capable of knocking Peterson out, why didn’t he do it when he had him in front of him in a boxing ring, even if the ring wasn’t, in his opinion, “square” in the District of Columbia?

Khan sounds like a 12-year-old who got his nose bloodied in the schoolyard, and starts to berate his conqueror…..long after the conqueror has left the schoolyard.

I really don’t know who is advising Khan when it comes to public relations, but perhaps there is a point where Roach needs to step in and talk some sense into the kid.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying. Public relations is not Freddie Roach’s job, right? Well, technically it isn’t. But boxing reality suggests otherwise, because if you don’t think that fully-developed, championship-level fighters falling into Freddie Roach’s lap, thus perpetuating the whole “guru” thing, isn’t, at least in part, a product of great PR, then you can just come over and shoot me off my barstool. The guy’s an expert.

Yeah, he needs to talk to the kid, and tell him the right things.

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