Monday, 16 September 2013 04:00

Floyd Mayweather vs. Amir Khan: An expert trainer's analysis

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Last summer, famed fight trainer Freddie Roach stated publicly that Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) would fight one more bout at 140 pounds before moving up in weight to pursue a possible match-up with pound for pound star Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KOs) in the 147 pound weight division.

Of course Amir would lose to Danny Garcia and Team Khan would relieve Roach of his services soon thereafter. 

Prior to Khan vs Garcia in July 2012, the Wild Card Gym leader remarked about Floyd's difficulty in defeating Miguel Cotto on May 5th.

"I see Floyd's legs beginning to go and I think he's slowing a little in the ring at age 35," explained Freddie Roach.

"Manny Pacquiao isn't the only fighter I currently train who can hand Mayweather his first professional loss."

"Amir Khan has the style to beat Floyd at 147 and we would love the opportunity to prove it, said Roach last summer."

To test Freddie Roach's theory, expert trainer James Gogue breaks down the potential super match-up between Amir Khan and Floyd Mayweather Jr. at 147 pounds.

While this match-up is indeed an explosive one, Amir Khan must first defeat IBF Welterweight Champion Devon Alexander on December 7 to make Mayweather vs Khan possible.

A fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Amir Khan would do huge numbers on pay-per-view because Amir is a legitimate attraction and has a legion of great fight fans from the UK. 


Pictured: Floyd Mayweather Jr at the pre-fight presser in Summer 2011 for Mayweather vs Ortiz


James Gogue believes Amir Khan's style would give any fighter at 147 pounds trouble in the ring.

"Stylistically, Amir Khan will give everybody problems because of the way he fights. He moves a lot and he has a fast, explosive jab that in my opinion is one of the best in boxing. He also throws a very high volume of punches with speed and in combination. After he fires off his combinations at angles, he will move and won't there to be countered."

"Amir Khan is a very tough opponent, style-wise, for Mayweather because Floyd would be forced to change his personality in the ring."

"Floyd would be forced to press the action and move forward while trying to cut off the ring effectively. Floyd isn't used to taking the lead in a fight and it would be interesting to see if he could do this effectively."

"Lamont Peterson was very effective at cutting off the ring and putting extreme pressure on Amir Khan throughout the entire bout. When is the last time you've seen Floyd have to move forward while cutting off the ring effectively and putting pressure on any of his opponents? The last time we've seen Floyd take that role was in his fight against Zab Judah."

"So against Amir Khan, Floyd will have to do something that he's not accustomed to doing. He's going to have to change his style up to be effective against a very proficient mover like Amir Khan. If he can't do it effectively, he'll simply be following around a rangy fighter who is used to throwing punches in bunches."

"Amir Khan is a crafty fighter. He is very proficient with guerrilla warfare in the ring; he likes to 'hit and run', 'hit and run'. When an opponent gets in close, Amir will tie them up, push them off, and commence to hitting and running again. He's very hard to handle for anyone who isn't used to cutting off the ring effectively."

Pictured: Amir Khan interviews with during the Khan vs Peterson conference at Walter E. Washington Convention Center on December 8, 2011 in Washington, DC

Courtesy Erum Rizvi


Although the experienced trainer believes Amir Khan will be a very difficult assignment for Floyd Mayweather Jr, James Gogue realizes that the top pound for pound fighter has the speed and reflexes to offset any potential opponent's strengths.

"Floyd has tremendous reflexes. He isn't going to be hit by the majority of Amir Khan's punches. Amir has some of the fastest hands in boxing, but Floyd's eyes and reflexes will adapt to the speed of Khan. Amir might be throwing his usual high volume of punches, but Floyd is the best defensive fighter in boxing."

"When Floyd gets in his defensive shell, the great majority of Amir's combinations are going to be hitting Floyd's shoulders or will be glancing blows at best. Floyd is also a brilliant counter puncher. When Amir is in the range to attack, Floyd will slip and counter him effectively and hit him out of position with shots he won't see coming."

"Amir Khan is a very fast fighter, but his reflexes are nowhere near as fast as Floyd Mayweather's. But, make no mistake about it; this is a very intriguing style match-up and it would be a fight that would be difficult for both fighters."

While Gogue outlines the strengths of both combatants, a pre fight analysis wouldn't be complete without a prefight prediction.

Pictured: Floyd Mayweather Jr at the Mayweather vs Cotto Weigh-in in Las Vegas, NV May 4, 2012
Courtesy of World Boxing Council


"Although Amir Khan would present a lot of problems for Floyd, I believe we would see Mayweather make the defensive and offensive adjustment to neutralize Amir's punch output and movement," claims James Gogue. "

I feel that Floyd would march down Khan like he did Zab Judah and resort to using the 'ear-muff' defense like Winky Wright rather than the shoulder roll to offset the angles Amir Khan would try and fight with."

It would be a difficult fight, but I see Floyd winning a close but unanimous decision over Amir Khan."


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