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Khan vs Molina: Amir Khan happy with new gym, new trainer, new in-ring approach

Amir Khan is pleased with how his camp with new trainer Virgil Hunter has gone in San Francisco, saying he prefers the quieter gym to the 'distractions' at the Wild Card in Los Angeles.

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David Becker
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Amir Khan is promising a new in-ring approach, and says that a quieter gym in San Francisco with new trainer Virgil Hunter has suited his personality more than working in Los Angeles with Freddie Roach.

From the Telegraph:

"I’ll be wiser in this fight. You’ll see a different and much better Amir Khan. ... In San Francisco, the gym is quiet and it is better for me. It’s a lot different. There were so many distractions in LA. Virgil has been with me the whole time in San Fran. I need to be told, to be instructed. I prefer a quiet gym. It makes me focus more, work harder."

Hunter, who is renowned for his career-long work with super middleweight champion Andre Ward, says he's happy with the progress of Khan (26-3, 18 KO), who is looking to break a two-fight losing streak on December 15, when he faces lightweight prospect Carlos Molina in a junior middleweight bout on Showtime.


"I’m looking for an outstanding performance. Defensively and offensively, he will still be exciting fighter, he now understands when to turn it on, when to engage and when not to engage."

Not intending to be pessimistic, only to discuss the move and the whole situation, this is make-or-break for Amir Khan, and I don't necessarily mean just this fight. Khan will almost surely have his hand raised on December 15; no knock on Molina, a solid prospect, but this was a hand-picked fight by Khan's team.

What I mean is, if Khan can't make it work with Hunter, what's he going to do? His promoter Oscar De La Hoya ran through a lot of trainers, too, but Oscar never had Khan's flaws, either. Simply put, Oscar was a much better complete package in the ring. That's not a knock on the very talented Khan, it's just reality, I believe. Saying he's worse than De La Hoya is no insult; Oscar was great at his best, very good on his worse nights.

So if Khan and Hunter don't make it work, what then? Another new trainer? How many fixes can be promised?

That's why this fight and this trainer-fighter relationship are pivotal in Amir Khan's career. It's not 100% that this absolutely has to work out and keep Khan at the top level, but it's not too far off. Failure here, and it's the great wide open for Amir Khan's boxing career.

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