Every fight out is must see for Amir Khan, because fight fans perceive that the Brit is iffy chinned, that he could get dropped and stop at any time, and that any fight could be his last.
The 26 year-old Bolton, England pug was last seen getting stopped in round four against Danny Garcia in Vegas in July. Since then, much has been made of his switch, subbing in Virgil Hunter for Freddie Roach. Khan made waves and drew some scorn when he went public with the word that he fears his Parkinson's has diminished Roach, and is telling the world that the switch in tutors will pay massive dividends. But you know the old saying--you can't train a chin.
Can Carlos Molina, a 17-0-1 (with just 7 KOs) hitter from Cali whose best win isn't easy to discern, test that chin in a bout which will run on Showtime? I'm doubtful of that but will of course tune in to make sure.
Khan sounded of solid mind on a recent conference call. "You will see a new Amir Khan come into this fight. I just want to say that the training that I've been doing with Virgil Hunter has been going great, (I'm working) on new techniques and new skills and (I will be) a totally different fighter," he said. "I'm excited to show you all what the new Amir Khan is going to be like, but yes, training has been tough and hard."
Khan, even with that cheatin' chin, which is prone to extreme acts of disloyalty, should be able to get a W over Molina, but he sounds like he's not looking past the greener guy. "We know we're up against a tough Carlos Molina, and we know what it's like to fight and be inside, because they're very confident and we're not taking this fight lightly," Khan said. "We've taken it very seriously; especially because we know that Carlos is going to come into the fight very confident after my last fight."
For the record, this Molina is NOT the 19-4-2 fighter who took on James Kirkland in March. That Carlos Molina is from Texas, and is of a higher skill-grade. Or is he? This Molina is telling all that he will gain respect come Saturday night. "I know a lot of people see me as the underdog, but man, little do they know that we're going to shock everybody on that night," he said.
It's not like he outright slammed Roach on the call, but all Khan's talk of defense could be argued is a knock on Dedham Freddie. In prior fights, Khan said, "We made mistakes when we usually go in there and it's like there's no defense and jumping into a war when we don't need to have a war and the game plan going out the window and me getting over confident and just whereas if I just stick to the game plan more....So that's why I've been working with Virgil and Virgil is a great trainer defensively as well. We've been working on a lot of new defenses, which I think will help me in this fight."
The contrast between Hunter and Roach is hard to miss. "We've been doing a lot of holding work as well like teaching me when you are hurt, what you have to do if you're holding, using these things. Virgil sees a fight the way it should go and if you're making mistakes, he'll pull you up on them, and tell you how to change your style and stuff," Khan said. "Also when we're working in the gym together, we've changed a lot of stuff, which is the defense, working a lot on the defensive side, something I've always wanted to work on with a trainer...It will take me to a different level seeing things better and also defending a lot of shots where I was normally just moving and whereas now I can block them. I know exactly what to do, and come the fight, you will see (a new) Amir Khan and you'll see a very settled and very mature fighter."
The story of this fight: addition by subtraction. Khan has removed Freddie Roach from the equation, added Virgil Hunter and is hoping that the switch will rejuvenate a career which is standing on a thin sheet of ice. Tune in to see if the ice holds, or if Khan gets cracked and his career prospects drown.
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Khan vs. Molina is a 12 round fight for the vacant WBC Silver Super Lightweight Title and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the co-featured attractions, charismatic unbeaten knockout artist and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay "Bronze Bomber" Wilder squares off against undefeated Kelvin Price in a 10-round heavyweight clash for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship and hard-hitting junior middleweight Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo of Los Angeles by way of Mexicali, Mexico faces Jorge Silva in a 10-round bout. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with a ten round welterweight fight featuring rising star Shawn Porter vs. former World Champion Julio Diaz airing live on SHOWTIME EXTREME beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The Sky Sports 1HD telecast begins live at 2:00 a.m. GMT on Sunday, December 16.
Santa Cruz vs. Guevara is a 12-round fight for Santa Cruz's IBF Bantamweight World Championship and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The CBS broadcast, which airs live from 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT until 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT, will also feature the professional debut of 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. as he faces Vicente Alfaro in a four-round junior featherweight fight.