Boxing: Khan goes back to school as Haye relishes facing a bully

Flawed lightweight insists he can stand on his own two feet. By Alan Hubbard

The thing about most boxers is that while they endeavour to keep their jaws out of the way in the ring, they always enjoy a bit of a chinwag. So it is with two of Britain's biggest drawcards, heavyweight David Haye and lightweight Amir Khan, who have been explaining how they hope to build and rebuild their respective world championship aspirations by taking it on those fragile chins.

In Khan's case not literally, of course. While he is prepared to absorb the told-you-so jibes that followed his potentially career-wrecking KO by Colombian Breidis Prescott last month, he has moved quickly to insure himself against further disaster by firing his Cuban coach Jorge Rubio and enlisting in the hardest school of knocks under the expert tutelage of top US trainer Freddie Roach. But perhaps more important is his revelation last week that from now on he is his own young man, firmly in control of his ring destiny.

"In some ways it's good that this [the defeat to Prescott] happened because people will now listen to me," he said. "Now what I say goes. Long before that fight it was me who said I wanted to go to America and train away from everything and all the distractions, it was me who said I wanted to train with Freddie Roach.

"But you have to listen to your management team, this guy or that guy, you get dragged here, dragged there, you get with a coach and you're not happy. You keep it all in. A lot of things were playing on my mind and I just didn't say anything until I got beat. I should have done this a long time ago and I don't think it [the defeat] would have happened. I take the blame for that even though I was told wrong by Jorge. Maybe getting beat was a blessing in disguise."

So Amir goes to Hollywood, though Roach's renowned Wild Card gym in Los Angeles is hardly Beverley Hills. Situated in seedy north Hollywood, it is a fistic emporium more redolent of the sweat science than the sweet science. Roach is a trainer much in the inspirational mould of Muhammad Ali's guru Angelo Dundee and the late Eddie Futch, who was his mentor. If anyone can teach Bolton's young boxer pup new tricks, he's the man.

Khan will spend six weeks re-learning the art of self-defence alongside Filipino Manny Pacquiao, a four-weight world champion and Roach protege who is preparing for his "super-fight" with Oscar De La Hoya on 6 December, the night Khan is due to begin his ring rehab in Birmingham. But the date and venue may have to be changed because of TV schedules, which would also allow Roach to be in his corner.

"The thing with Freddie is that he explains everything," said Khan. "He doesn't just work with the pads, he throws punches back at you. He's already shown me how to roll with the shots by bending my knees more." Roach took time out from a promotional roadshow with Pacquiao to say: "Overall Amir is a good athlete and a boxer with great potential. He had a problem but he'll get over it. He'll be training here with guys like Pacquiao and we've got to bring him to another level. He has to go back to his boxing and stop looking for a knock-out."

And avoid getting hit on the chin, something which Haye confessed he is actually looking forward to when he meets American Monte Barrett at London's O2 Arena on 15 November. "He's not one of those slow, sloppy heavyweights," said Haye. "I know he's going to test my chin, and that's what I want. Some people think I'll fall down and go to sleep but if I can't take a shot from a seasoned heavyweight like Monte Barrett, who'll come in with two guns blazing, I might as well call it a day."

Barrett has twice challenged for world titles and has been beaten by three of the best, Wladimir Klitschko (who floored him five times), Nicolay Valuev and Hasim Rahman. But he has won his last three bouts in under two rounds apiece and has just blasted out a genuine US heavyweight hope, Tye Fields, in a round. "I beat up prospects for a living," he warned Haye.

Barrett is one of those ghetto-reared boxers always equipped with a quip. His best line came when he said that at 37 he is 10 years older than Haye. "That's the same difference in age as me and my girlfriend. But the difference between her and David is that she likes it when I spank her ass."

Tomorrow it will be Ricky Hatton's turn to unveil a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Snr, father of his Las Vegas nemesis, hired for the Hitman's 22 November fight with Paulie Malignaggi. Mayweather Snr uses more expletives per sentence than Joe Kinnear, and Frank Warren, who has just pocketed £115,000 in libel damages from the publishers of Hatton's biography, remarks: "I don't know what he can teach Ricky at this stage of his career except how to swear better."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins wins the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line IT Support / Senior Engineer / Support Analyst

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recognised as one of the fastes...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager - Refrigeration

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor