MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach admitted former light-welterweight champion Amir Khan got "reckless" in his light-welterweight clash against unbeaten boxer Danny Garcia last Saturday in Las Vegas.
Khan dominated the first two rounds but got caught with a counter left-hook in the third that dropped him to the canvas. He was knocked down twice more in the fourth round, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to stop the fight.
“We got reckless,” Roach admitted. “He was having so much success, he thought he could just overwhelm him.”
“Then they guy threw a big overhand shot from leftfield and it landed. He’s a big puncher and he’s very strong,” he added.
“He got caught with a shot right on the money and that was it, he never really recovered after the first shot.”
Roach also conceded that the trash talking of Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel, “got under our skin a little.”
Still, Roach is hopeful that Garcia will give Khan another shot.
“Hopefully he’ll give us a rematch in England and we can reverse this,” Roach said.
The trainer also revealed that he wanted to stop the fight after the first knockdown towards the end of the third round because Khan “wasn’t responding really well in that minute break.”
“But he said, ‘No, I’m okay.’ He showed a lot of heart,” Roach said.
Khan’s father, Shah Khan, also promised that his son will come back stronger.
“I’m positive that he will come back stronger. That crowd in that arena, I couldn’t believe it. We’re in the USA and he’s British. He’s an exciting fighter. The Americans love him,” the elder Khan said in a separate Boxing Scene interview.
Shah Khan said Amir should have stuck to his gameplan of outboxing Garcia.
“One punch changes everything, which (Garcia) did there. All Amir had to do is stay away, but that’s how he likes to fight, unfortunately,” he said.
Roach agreed, saying, “We should have boxed a little bit more, but that’s the way things go."
Khan has now lost two straight fights, after also dropping a controversial decision to American boxer Lamont Peterson last December.
Garcia became a unified light-welterweight champion after successfully defending his WBC belt and annexing Khan’s WBA championship.