Amir Khan: ‘It’s been such a long time, but I feel like I’ve never left the game’
Amir Khan is apparently undaunted by his virtual two-year hiatus from the prize ring.
In fact, the former unified junior welterweight titleholder has stated that he’s hitting his peak years ahead of his comeback bout against Phil Lo Greco which takes place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, on Saturday.
Now aiming to become a welterweight titleholder, Khan has completed training under the guidance of Joe Goossen, who replaced an unwell Virgil Hunter for this camp. The quick-fisted Englishman insists that the switch has not been to his detriment and also promises to be more adept defensively.
“I’ve always liked the way that Joe trains his fighters,” said Khan, who has been inactive since a sixth-round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez. “I thought Joe would be a good fit. We got in touch, got on and chose to work with him for the rest of camp.
“Every coach is different. Joe has wanted to get my fundamentals right. He wants me to box how I used to; be smart and not make mistakes. Why give the opponent a free chance to hit you? Joe has been telling me to keep the hands up, and when I throw a shot to always remember defense while making sure the offense is firing too.
“I feel really good. I’ve sparred a lot of young guys, Olympians and unbeaten hungry pros, and they have really been pushing me. They want to prove a point and show me how good they are, so they push me. I feel that my body is peaking and the game plan that Joe is working on with me has come together. It’s been such a long time, but I feel now like I’ve never left the game.
“The Amir Khan you’ll see is the one that boxes at a high pace with lots of combinations – but now when I throw them, there’s going to be better defense. I feel better now than I did at 28. I’m 31 now, the peak years of my career, and I’ve made my mistakes and they’re in the past. I don’t want to make them again, so we move forward now and make the right choices.”
Face value tickets for April 21 are available from StubHub. StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua. Information and quotes courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for THE RING. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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