Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Cunningham says Alexander would ‘destroy’ Khan


Kevin Cunningham, the trainer of IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander, said his fighter would “destroy”  Amir Khan if the former 140-pound titleholder elects to rise into the 147-pound division for a proposed Dec. 7 bout.

“As of right now, I haven’t heard anything on a deal with Khan, but I believe that it’s a good possibility that that fight will take place. We would love to give Amir Khan a shot, and I believe that there is a good chance that the fight will happen. If it does happen, I think that Devon is going to destroy Khan, and he’s going to look spectacular doing it,” said Cunningham.

Khan would be looking for his third straight victory in as many fights under new trainer Virgil Hunter if he were to meet Alexander.

“The reason that I say that is that I just think that, you know, you’re dealing with a fighter that is still searching for his identity in the ring, and he seems to be really confused. Everybody talks about how fast Khan is, well, he can be fast, but I’d rather be quick than fast. Khan may be fast, and he may throw fast punches, but he throws a lot of fast, meaningless punches. When he gets in there with a guy like Devon, who has quick hands, and who has quick feet, I think that he’s just going to give Khan problems, and in the end, I think that he’s just going to punish him.”

A former IBF and WBC junior welterweight beltholder, Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) is coming off a seventh-round stoppage of Lee Purdy in May. Prior to facing Purdy, who was knocked out for the first time in his career, Alexander had overcome Lucas Matthysse by split-decision as a junior welterweight in 2011, and both Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey by one-sided decisions in 147-pound matchups last year.

In April, Khan rose from a fourth-round knockdown for a unanimous decision over former two-time lightweight beltholder Julio Diaz that followed up December’s 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina.

Questions about Khan’s ability to take a punch, stemming from a first-round KO loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008, have continued to plague him, however. He was knocked out again by Danny Garcia last year, and was floored by Diaz during their fight.

Cunningham said his assertions were further emboldened by a video during which Khan is doing pad work with another man.

“I saw Khan on Youtube last week with another trainer, and what that tells me is that this kid is totally confused, because from what I understand, I think he’s still with Virgil Hunter, who is an excellent trainer. But he’s on Youtube training with some guy trying to copy cat Floyd Mayweather’s mitt work. If I was his real trainer, Virgil Hunter, I would be a little disappointed in that,” said Cunningham.

“I think that’s kind of disrespectful, because whatever Virgil’s got him working on, getting him to go in the direction he’s trying to get him to go in, he’s jumping around from gym to gym, working on all of this other stuff? That just lets me know how confused of fighter Amir Khan is. So he’s going to be in big trouble on Dec. 7, if this fight takes place.”



Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]