MANILA, Philippines – A boxing analyst does not believe that new trainer Virgil Hunter will be able to change British fighter Amir “King” Khan’s tendencies inside the ring.
Steve Bunce of ESPN UK wrote that he has no problem with Khan hiring Hunter to replace Freddie Roach as his trainer.
“He knows what he’s talking about, he’s experienced, and from what I understand he takes no nonsense,” Bunce said of Hunter.
“However, a warning: If Hunter thinks he’s going to suddenly change Khan, then he’s mad,” he added.
Khan split with Roach following two consecutive losses: a disputed decision loss to Lamont Peterson last November, and then a stunning fourth-round knockout to Danny Garcia last July.
Bunce emphasized that “Hunter can’t teach (Khan) anything,” and that the only thing the trainer can do is make sure that Khan does not “fight like a fool.”
“All Hunter can do is make sure that when Khan leaves the changing room, he hasn’t left his brain behind. Khan needs to be told not to fight like a fool,” Bunce wrote.
“Hunter must do what (Hall of Fame trainer) Angelo Dundee did with (former heavyweight champion) George Foreman: remind him what he has forgotten,” he added.
Bunce believes that Hunter’s value to Khan will show itself during the minutes between rounds, much like Dundee.
“Dundee wasn’t the greatest trainer in the world in the sense that he got up at 5 a.m. and went running with fighters – he didn’t have to... In the hours before a fight and minutes between rounds, that’s when he helped his fighters,” Bunce said.
“Hunter must be similar, because at the moment Khan is losing bouts before a punch has been thrown,” he added.
Roach, the trainer Hunter replaced, has previously expressed his doubts that a new coach will be able to change Khan.
“Can somebody change another person? I don’t think so. I’ve been trying to get Amir to settle down for a long time with no success,” Roach said.