Low key Amir Khan can make a big noise after quiet build-up
Having admitted that the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles had gone to his head – where they were joined by a lot of punches – Amir Khan is taking a different approach to his next fight.
Following the losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia which so damaged Khan’s record and reputation, the 26-year-old Bolton light-welterweight switched trainers from Freddie Roach to Virgil Hunter.
In doing so he swapped the bright lights and the celebrity parties of LA for a gym in an industrial area around an hour’s drive from San Francisco, not that he’s had any time to see sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge due to Hunter’s rigorous training regime, which has left his life consisting of nothing but eating, training and resting.
After overseeing Khan’s victory over Carlos Molina in December, Hunter has kept his charge away from the city in the build-up to his April 27th fight against Mexican veteran Julio Diaz at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena, Khan’s first bout in England since stopping Paul McCloskey in Manchester two years ago.
Those losses to Peterson and Garcia are the main reason why Khan, who is 1/12 to beat the 33-year-old Diaz, finds himself back in this position, but he’s keen to stress that this is a make-or-break moment for him.
“I can’t afford to lose again, I’d be destroyed,” he recently told the Daily Mail, and it is certainly difficult to argue with him following a rocky couple of years.
Diaz, who is available at 13/2, held the IBF lightweight title for eight months in 2007 but has done little since to convince that he could trouble the former four-time world champion.
Khan’s new-found focus should pay off in Sheffield, and ensure that this approach to his boxing is one for the long-term.