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Freddie Roach: Khan can beat Mayweather

Freddie Roach believes that Khan has the talent to knockoff pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather, should that fight ever come to pass.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Some people think Floyd Mayweather's ironclad grip on the Cinco De Mayo fight date is now in jeopardy with Canelo Alvarez stating his intention of taking the date back for his Mexican fans. Supposedly this is now putting some pressure on Mayweather to secure a big enough name for his next fight to satiate the public and retain command of the boxing PPV market.

With Floyd quickly running out marketable opponents -- and until Moses returns to earthly form to pave a way for May-Pac -- the most logical thought for his May fight is the winner between Amir Khan and Devon Alexander. Amir Khan has a pretty good following and name recognition but his overt sense of entitlement caused him to lose out on a career-high payday with Mayweather when he was passed over for Marcos Maidana. Ironically enough, it landed Khan right back into the position he was already in when he was set to fight Devon Alexander last year but pulled out of negotiations expecting to hit the Mayweather Sweepstakes. Obviously that didn't pan out so well for Amir, but should he now get past Alexander, he may well be the frontrunner to face Floyd Mayweather yet again.

Freddie Roach, Khan's previous trainer, has always thought Khan would fare well against Mayweather given Amir's skill set.

"I always thought Amir had the talent to maybe beat someone like Mayweather. I think it's a very good fight for Amir. I give him a very good chance to win that fight," said Roach, who is winding up WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao's training for his Nov. 22 bout with Chris Algieri.

"He's fast, he's athletic. He's a pretty good puncher, not a great puncher. He has all the abilities in the world."

However, despite having all the abilities in the world, Roach isn't exactly enamored with the changes that current trainer Virgil Hunter has instilled in Khan.

"I like him in-and-out a little more, I like that speed," said Roach. "He was getting in the habit of staying in the pocket a little too long. If you stay in the pocket for more than 3-4 punches you're gonna get hit back and that's what happened with Amir and that's why he suffered a couple knockouts.

"Virgil Hunter, his new trainer has him holding instead of getting out of the pocket, throwing combinations and hold. He's becoming a little bit of a boring fighter. I don't like this style for him but that's out of my hands at this point."

Interestingly enough, these are the very same observations that many fans have made of Khan since his tandem act with Hunter began. Most people loved his sort of reckless abandon-type approach, throwing tons of combinations which were flashy and eye-catching, although it didn't always work out so well for Khan. But hey, he was always entertaining! With Hunter, Khan has been inspiring many more groans with his now constant clinching approach which has been relatively effective for him (albeit against lesser opponents).

Roach still wants Pacquiao for Mayweather, of course, but that horse has been beaten to death and resurrected again more times than Jason Voorhees.

"I've had meetings with Arum and [President/CEO of CBS Corporation] Les Moonves. If everyone does what they say they're gonna do, the fight will happen. But they all have to do their job, it's not just Mayweather and Pacquiao. It's the promoters and the TV people. Now you have to deal with HBO and Showtime doing a co-promotion together.

"It's been done once before with Lennox Lewis and [Mike] Tyson so it can be done. I'm hoping everyone does their job and the fight happens. I'm a little skeptical but I hope like all you people in the world. I love challenges and that's a challenge for me."

Truth be told, I always thought Amir Khan was a more difficult style match-up for Mayweather than Maidana ever was, and perhaps more than most of his other potential opponents. Khan's combination of length, speed, accuracy and work rate would force Floyd to do something he hasn't had to do in quite some time - fight a busy fight. Despite the protests about whether or not Amir has earned the fight yet, I'd still be interested in seeing how it plays out.

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