by Chris Cella
Prior to bringing Virgil Hunter aboard to prepare him for his upcoming fight against Carlos Molina, former two-time world champion and former unified WBA super and IBF light welterweight champion Amir “King” Kahn was working under the tutelage of world renowned and future Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Following his 4th round TKO loss at the hands of now WBC world light welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, Kahn dropped Roach as a trainer, saying that his Parkinson’s disease is impacting his coaching ability.
Roach—who has battled Parkinson’s for years—has been named Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America five times and currently trains former champion Manny Pacquiao, amongst others.
About Khan’s contention that his disease is impeding on his coaching performance, Roach fired back, “If that was true, why would he (Kahn) say to me, ‘Fire Manny Pacquiao and Chavez Jr.’ and they’ll keep me?
“Him, his father, and his lawyer and his uncle all said that. It had nothing to do with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s had nothing to do with it. They know that. And I wish them the best of luck.”
Despite the tremors Roach experiences as a result of the disease, he has shown no slowing down as a trainer, as he has worked in getting his fighters ready for the big time fights.
Roach angrily stated that he knows that he—and not Virgil Hunter—would still be training Kahn and preparing him for his upcoming December 15 bout if he agreed to walk away from his other fighters.
Fighters fight, not make excuses. Any boxer who has stepped between the ropes and has tasted defeat accepts his role in the loss, and doesn’t point fingers and plays the blame game.
Khan’s saying Roach’s disease impacted his performance as a trainer is a low blow showing little class, and says a lot of about his character.
Roach has established himself as one of the best trainers in the game, and the proof is in the pudding. His resume speaks for itself, plain and simple.
So the real question is … if Carlos Molina is able to pull off the upset, who will Amir Khan blame next?