On December 6, Amir Khan will enter the ring again exactly three months removed from his first professional defeat.
Back on September 6, Khan suffered a first round stunning 54-second knockout at the hands of Breidis Prescott in a bout held at MEN Arena in Manchester.
The new Khan, fresh off of several weeks of training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, Calif. under the watchful eye of his new trainer Freddie Roach, is set to face Oisin Fagan, who brings a pressure style.
Prior to the Prescott loss, Khan replaced trainer Oliver Harrison with Miami-based former Cuban Olympic coach Jorge Rubio. With his chin still in question, Khan now looks towards the experienced Roach for help.
Roach, who is committed to be in the corner of Manny Pacquiao on December 6 in Vegas, will not be in Khan’s corner for the Fagan bout. However, Roach has a lot of faith in Khan and believes that he is a world champion in the making.
While at the Wild Card Gym, Khan spent three hours a day with Roach working on various techniques, including his defense.
When asked if the K.O. loss to Prescott hurt his confidence Khan responded, “Not at all to be honest, yes it put a big dent in my career, but I’m back and more confident than ever. I’ve got a point to prove now, and it’s actually made me a better fighter, I’ve changed a lot of things and maybe it was a good thing what happened in the last fight, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been training in the States with the best.”
While training in the U.S. at the Wild Card Gym, the British lightweight had the opportunity to train along side the largely recognized pound-for-pound champion, Manny Pacquiao, as he prepares for his Dream Match with Oscar De La Hoya.
For Khan, sparring with Pacquiao can go along way in the soon to be 22-year-old's boxing career, especially when observing the machine-like workout routine of Pacquiao.
When recently visiting the Wild Card Gym, Diamond Boxing asked Roach if training with Khan has helped Pacquiao in any way. Roach immediately perked upped and responded “Khan has a great, great jab, and it’s faster than Oscar’s and better than Oscar’s. If Manny can deal with Khan’s jab he can deal with anybody's jab.”
While December 6 is the "dream match" for Pacquiao and De La Hoya, it’s judgment day for Amir Khan. He has been shown the canvas not only by Prescott, but by the likes of Michael Gomez, Willie Limond, and Rachid Drilzane.
On December 6, Khan looks to calm his critics who have labeled him as having a soft chin.
Roger Epstein is a reporter for www.diamondboxing.com