Amir Khan made his return to the ring last Saturday night after back to back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Garcia’s loss being by brutal stoppage After that loss this past July in where Khan lost the WBA Super Lightweight title, Khan switched trainers from Freddie Roach to 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter. One must wonder if any changes came about from his last outing. According to Khan, the changes were there.
“You can see the way I was fighting, more patient. At times Carlos Molina did catch me but I never lost my game plan I stuck to the jab. I never got frustrated or anything and he did catch me with some good shots but I just kind of composed myself,” explained Khan.
One must wonder however, what you can really take from this fight with Carlos Molina. Molina was a lightweight moving up in weight to 140 who sported a very low knockout ratio to his record. Couple that with the large 22 foot ring, one could say he was the perfect comeback opponent for Khan. However, Khan disagrees.
“Carlos [Molina] is a tough, tough fighter. I remember hitting Carlos, I think it was in the early rounds in the fight and I caught him with some good clean shots and he still came forward. That’s when I thought I better stick to my game plan because this kid’s tough.”
To Carlos Molina’s credit, he kept coming forward taking whatever punishment Khan would dish out. Lightweight or not, Molina came to win against a guy who was bigger and had better boxing skill than him. Khan acknowledges that. “Whoever I fight and I hit them clean, they go down. I hit Marcos Maidana clean, he went down, same with Zab Judah. Carlos Molina, when I hit him with clean shots, he came back stronger and that’s when I thought to myself, stick to the game plan. It’s a 12 round fight it’s not a 1 round fight. I’m going to compose myself and stick to the game plan and that’s what I did.”
So what improvements did we witness with Khan this Saturday, if any? To Khan, it all starts with his patience and awareness.
“Virgil [Hunter] is a great trainer. I want to thank him for all the success. I’m getting better as a fighter, he’s teaching me how to be patient, and he’s teaching me how to understand boxing. Before I used to go wild and I used to go in there with a 100 MPH combination but now that’s gone. I’m picking the right shots at the right time, the speeds there. If I use my speed the main way, there’s no one touching me in the world.I get to ballsy for my own good and I start getting wild. Richard [Schaefer] says the same thing, I’m to brave for my own good but now with Virgil. I’m sticking to the game plan, I’m sticking behind that jab, and taking my time.”
Khan now wants to right the ship, correct the mistakes, and get revenge. “I know I make mistakes and I’m my biggest critic. I criticized myself after watching the fights against [Danny] Garcia and Lamont Peterson. I thought what am I doing here, why did I make this mistake? And if I was fighting Danny Garcia like I fought Molina, I would have knocked him out and that’s the honest truth,” exclaimed Khan.
Khan claims he is still a better fighter than Garcia. He feels that his skill set and new trainer will have him ready for Garcia’s best punch. “I’m ready for Danny Garcia whenever. At the end of the day I got caught. He was lucky he caught me with a good shot and I didn’t recover. You know what, I’m ready to fight Danny Garcia, anywhere, anytime, any place.”
Garcia was in attendance this past Saturday. I’m sure he was an interesting observer to Khan’s post fight interviewer. As the interview was going on, you could read his lips on the screen, “I’m number one it’s going to be like that for a long time,” Garcia boasted.
Is Khan ready to get in there with the beast again after this fight with Molina? He landed 312 punches on Molina and while he got the corner to stop the fight, Molina landed some clean shots, included 68 power punches. Now imagine those power punches coming from a Danny Garcia who has proven his punching power to be devastating. One thing must be said about Khan, whether chinny or arrogant in his ways, he has always been willing to fight the best. So ready or not, prepare for more Khan excitement, whether good or not in 2013.