Thursday, September 13, 2012
Roach, Khan close to parting ways
By Dan Rafael
LAS VEGAS -- Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach does not expect to be back in the corner of former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan when he returns to the ring in December.
Khan has been tweeting regularly about how he is talking to other trainers, basically dragging out the obvious separation from Roach like a soap opera rather than just announce he is moving on.
But Roach has been around long enough. He knows that it's over, unless there is a radical change in attitude from the Khan camp.
The four-year relationship between Amir Khan and trainer Freddie Roach appears close to ending.
Although Roach has mainly been talking this week about middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in advance of his fighter's Saturday bout with lineal champion Sergio Martinez, Roach also spent some time addressing questions about his situation with Khan, who has lost two fights in a row (a controversial decision loss to Lamont Peterson in December and a fourth-round knockout to Danny Garcia in a July unification fight).
Roach, who hooked up with Khan after his shocking first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008, said not long after the fight with Garcia that Khan adviser Asif Vali and Khan's father, Shah Khan, told him that if he gave up Manny Pacquiao and Chavez as clients that Khan would stay with him (a ridiculous request, by the way).
Khan apparently felt like he wasn't getting enough attention from Roach with those other fighters around.
Roach said Shah Khan contacted him in recent weeks suggesting it again.
"I thought it was unusual they would ask and I left it as: 'Let me think about it,'" Roach said.
Roach was trying to be polite, but there is nothing to think about. Roach has no intention of leaving behind Pacquiao or Chavez, whose camps have sometimes overlapped with Khan's.
"Manny is my guy and I'm not going to leave him," Roach said. "I'm not going to leave Chavez Jr."
As what amounted to parting words of wisdom, Roach said he told Shah Khan, "I like Amir and I said they should keep him away from punchers. His matchmakers [at Golden Boy Promotions] should know what they have."