Eddie Mustafa: Training Amir Khan Would Be a Dream

By Richard V. Powell on September 4, 2012
Eddie Mustafa: Training Amir Khan Would Be a Dream
“If Amir fought Garcia ten more times that knockout probably wouldn’t happen again."

Because of Freddie Roach‘s powerful stable of fighters like Pacquiao and Chavez Jr., Khan believes he may not be getting the attention he deserves…

Former light heavyweight champion and present-day trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad sees what happened in July’s fight between Danny Garcia and Amir Khan differently than most. “I agree with what Emanuel Stewart said during the broadcast. It was one of those things in boxing that can happen when fighters start exchanging. Amir didn’t do anything wrong. It was just one of those things.”

Now that Khan has lost he is said to be reexamining his career. Because of Freddie Roach‘s powerful stable of fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Khan believes he may not be getting the attention he deserves and could receive if he were to train elsewhere. 

Khan did travel to the Philippines while Roach was preparing Pacquiao for the Bradley fight. Reports from boxing media in the Philippines indicated that he was basically a sparring partner for Pacquiao, after traveling 6500 grueling miles on a 15-hour flight, followed by a 150-mile, 3½-hour ground trip to Baguio City from Manila.

If Khan decides he wants a change, Mustafa wants Team Khan to know he would like to be considered for the job. “Look,” Mustafa told me, “the guy has all the attributes necessary to be the best in his division. Hand speed, strength, footwork—he’s got it all. Amir will fight any guy you put in front of him and he has the heart of a lion.” 

Reports surfaced earlier that Carl Froch had recommended that Khan retire after his knockout loss. Mustafa heard the suggestion and laughed it off: “If Amir fought Garcia 10 more times that knockout probably wouldn’t happen again. Amir is only 25 years old. His best years are ahead of him.” Mustafa also pointed out that Lamont Peterson had been found to be using illegal substances during his fight with Khan, in addition to the controversial officiating that plagued the decision, so in his mind that wasn’t really a loss. “I don’t think anybody counts that as a loss for Amir after what we know now.”

Khan insisted he had no one else to blame for the defeat at the hands of Garcia but himself. “I’m taking the whole blame in my own hands,” Khan told Sky Sports News. “It was my own fault. There are a few things we should have not done in training camp that we could have done differently, but that’s just me and Freddie. I’m the one who made the mistakes.”

Mustafa says Khan’s ability to place the blame on himself and not pass it to others shows his strong character. “Look at what he said. He didn’t point the finger at anybody but himself. That’s a true champion’s mentality.”

In a post-fight interview, Khan was quoted as saying, “I’m not blaming anyone. I’m the one who’s at blame really. My team did a great job outside the boxing ring.” But Mustafa says he sees where the fight plan could have been better and that‘s not the fighter‘s responsibility. “It’s always easy to look back and see what could have been done differently, but I do see some major differences in what I would have come up with,” he said. “Look, as a trainer I‘m responsible to train my fighter both mentally and physically so that they have everything they need to win—in order for me to do that I have to give them my full attention, especially when you’re talking about one of the premiere fighters in the world.” 

Khan wants to avenge his two losses. He has let it be known he wants a rematch with Garcia in December and would love to go at it with Lamont Peterson a second time. “I’m going to take my time, think about things, maybe watch the [Garcia] fight a few more times, see where I need to improve,” said Khan. “It’s a very crucial part of my career. If I am going to pick another [trainer] I need to be with the right trainer who’s going to take me where I want to be.” 

Eddie Mustafa believes he is that “right trainer” that Khan is looking for. “I have a lot of respect for Freddie Roach and Emanuel Stewart but nobody wants to train Amir Khan more than I do. Working with Amir Khan would be a dream.”

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  1. John Stacks 06:09pm, 09/05/2012

    Eddie - looking for a payday are we?  That would explain your ridiculous comments. Grow up.

  2. Mike Casey 07:49am, 09/04/2012

    No trainer can mend a weak chin, which is Amir’s problem at the highest level; and for all his other fine attributes, he is still far too easy to hit.

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