Hall of Fame trainer, Freddie Roach, told FightHub that Amir Khan (31-3 19KOs) must “pitch the perfect game,” if he wants to emerge victorious in his upcoming clash with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1 32KOs).
Khan, Canelo and Oscar De La Hoya collectively shocked the boxing world yesterday when they announced that Canelo would be fighting Khan on May 7th at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on HBO PPV. Perhaps the most surprising aspect for many fans was that Khan, who has fought at welterweight for three years, would be fighting at a catchweight of 155lbs for the WBC middleweight title. However, we have seen similar fights in the past; Manny Pacquiao moved up to fight Oscar De La Hoya as did Sugar Ray Leonard when he faced Marvin Hagler.
Speaking at the Wildcard Gym, Roach said “Khan still has a tendency to stay in the pocket too long sometimes. Ever since he was an amateur, when they had that mercy rule, if you were winning by so many points, the fight was automatically stopped, he loved that. He stopped a lot of fighters in that fashion as an amateur and I think that’s why he stays in the pocket too long at times. That’s why when I was working with him, we were working on getting out of the pocket quicker. He does have foot speed and he is a great athlete, but to do it for 36 minutes, it’ll be very, very difficult. This guy is strong. He’s gotta pitch a perfect game, for sure.”