Boxing: Khan signs up new coach for fight against Molina


Amir Khan brought some clarity to his future yesterday by announcing a new head trainer as well as his next opponent.

The 25-year-old split with leading coach Freddie Roach earlier this month in the wake of his defeat by Danny Garcia in July. He has now turned to another American, Virgil Hunter, to be his new corner man, with the first assignment a December date with the undefeated Mexican Carlos Molina.

Hunter's main mission will be to help the Bolton fighter regain the IBF and WBA light-welterweight titles he has lost over the past 12 months, after losses to Lamont Petersen and Garcia. The Petersen defeat was later put into perspective by the American's failure of a drugs test but, regardless of that, there have been concerns about Khan's form for some time.

"I'm really pleased that Virgil Hunter is to become my new trainer," said Khan. "Everyone in boxing knows about his skills and the success he has enjoyed over the last few years. I'm looking forward to the start of my training camp and working on new things with him.

"With Virgil in my corner, I know that I can get back to the very top of the light-welterweight division."

As part of his plan to do that he will have to beat Molina, who has 17 wins and a draw from his 18 bouts, in America on a date still to be decided.

"Molina is a good fighter who has yet to taste defeat, so I know that he will be very dangerous," Khan said. "He's a tricky fighter who possesses a lot of natural speed. I always want to face hungry young fighters, and in Molina I am up against a guy who has ambitions of world title success."

Hunter was last year voted as the trainer of the year by America's boxing writers, and he believes the new partnership can be fruitful.

"Amir is an extremely talented fighter and I'm very happy to become his new trainer," he said.

"I've seen a lot of him and he has many attributes, such as his speed and heart. There are certain small aspects of his game that I'm intending to work on in order to help him fulfil his enormous potential."