Amir Khan fires Freddie Roach
LAS VEGAS -- Former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan fired Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach on Friday, ending their four-year partnership during which Khan claimed two world titles but also suffered a shocking fourth-round knockout in July.
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Roach was on hand at the Wynn Las Vegas for the weigh-in for Saturday's fight between lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez, whom Roach trains, when he received a call from Khan giving him the news.
"He said, 'I know you're busy with your other fighters and I'm going to go in a different direction,' " Roach told ESPN.com. "He said, 'No hard feelings, maybe we'll get back together someday.' He was being nice. I wished him luck. I've been fired before."
On his Twitter feed, Khan wrote, "Officially, I've left Freddie Roach. Just spoke to him and had a good professional chat and maybe in the future we work together.
"Freddie understood why I'm looking at other trainers and wished me all the best for the future."
Khan's new trainer is not set yet but he has been in New York meeting with candidates. The favorite to replace Roach, a five-time trainer of the year, is Virgil Hunter, the reigning trainer of the year for his work with super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Hunter flew to New York this week after Ward's victory last Saturday against light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, to meet with Khan and to work out with him, according to a source with knowledge of the trip and the meeting.
Another name being mentioned is Pedro Diaz, who trains former three-division titlist Miguel Cotto.
Khan has lost two fights in a row, a fourth-round knockout to Danny Garcia on July 14 in a title unification fight and a controversial split decision to Lamont Peterson in December. He is looking for a trainer who can devote more one-on-one time to him. Khan's training camps often overlapped with those of Chavez and Roach's most important fighter, Manny Pacquiao.
England's Khan, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, hired Roach after his upset first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008. But with Roach in his corner, Khan rebounded and eventually a 140-pound world title by soundly outpointing Andriy Kotelnik in 2009. Khan made five defenses and unified two titles before losing to Peterson.
Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) plans to return to the ring in December.