Thursday, Amir Khan made the insensitive, and in many eyes, uncalled for, comment that Freddie Roach's Parkinson's disease was partly responsible for him seeking a new trainer.
Friday, Roach is fighting back, claiming that his disease has no impact on his ability to train and that Khan never brought the topic up to him.
Roach told Yahoo! Sports Kevin lole that Khan's primary concern was Roach clearing other fighters out of the way to dedicate more time to him:
If that was true, why would he say to me, 'Fire Manny Pacquiao and Chavez Jr.,' and they'll keep me? Him, his father, his lawyer and his uncle all said that. It had nothing to do with Parkinson's. Parkinson's had nothing to do with it. They know that. And I wish them the best of luck.
Roach, like he always does, elected to take the high road. He was obviously bothered by the insinuation but chose instead to respond with class and dignity.
That's more than can be said for Khan's comments.
Let's be clear. Nobody is disputing the fighter's right to seek a new trainer. Nobody is even disputing Khan's right to play out in the media his grievances against his former trainer.
But to insinuate that Roach's Parkinson's Disease had something to do with Khan's recent failures in the ring was not only a low-blow, it was completely unnecessary.
Khan had already made his break, continuing to trash a popular boxing figure, particularly in this way, is simply not good business and will not win him any fans.
Freddie Roach is one of the best, if not the best, trainers in the sport. He has achieved his reputation in spite of his illness, which makes his story all the more inspirational. He's never once used his illness as an excuse for anything and neither have any of his other fighters.
You haven't heard Manny Pacquiao or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., both high-profile members of Roach's camp, who are coming off recent losses, complain about his ability to train.
You only hear Khan, whose ability to make excuses has come to surpass his in-ring abilities in recent months.
He returns to the ring on Dec. 15 against relative unknown Carlos Molina. Between now and then he should take a cue from his former trainer and learn a thing or two about class and dignity.
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