Amir Khan knows he needs big improvements defensively, and knows also that that might mean parting with trainer Freddie Roach. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Amir Khan is still considering whether to go forward with his career guided by trainer Freddie Roach, but the former junior welterweight titleholder sounds more and more like he's taking steps toward splitting from the Hall of Famer, and he might be heading into the care of another one.
Khan says that Emanuel Steward has offered his services, and sounds extremely humble following a TKO-4 loss to Danny Garcia on July 14:
"Many trainers have said they can make me into a big, unbeatable fighter. It's all about taking my time on this, it's a big decision to make. I'm still with Freddie at the moment, but in a week's time things might change.
"It's all about seeing who might suit my style, who might help me on my offence, who might help me on my defence. I think I'm one of the best offensive fighters in the world, I just need to work on my defence. I really think to be one of the leading fighters, you need to have both. There are going to be a lot of things I'm going to change, but you will see a new Amir Khan."
Words are just words, but Khan seems to clearly understand that his defense has become a major liability, and that to continue on as a true top fighter (which he has the ability to do), it needs to be fixed, not just patched up, and it certainly can't be ignored.
Steward's name has been linked to Khan several times by fans and media who believe the two could be a terrific pairing. Most notably in recent years, Steward has taken Wladimir Klitschko from a chinny fighter with defensive issues to a dominant, essentially untouchable and unstoppable force.
Khan will never be Klitschko. He doesn't, relative to his weight, have the same physical advantages that the massive Klitschko does, nor does he seem quite so even-tempered. Khan is easily lured into a brawl, and that's part of why he's so much fun to watch. But he can definitely be better than he is right now, and it seems he's fully accepted that.
That's step one. Step two might be parting ways with Roach, and slipping into the famed Kronk colors. Khan's reported target date for his next fight is December 15.