KEEN to reinvent himself and give it one last go, Amir Khan has a fight date, April 21, an opponent, Phil Lo Greco, and now a new trainer. The former WBA and IBF super-lightweight champion will be cornered by Joe Goossen in Liverpool, it was revealed this week.
Khan, 31-4 (19), has had a number of trainers since turning professional in 2005. He started with Oliver Harrison in Bolton, then moved on to Miami-based Cuban Jorge Rubio, before relocating to Los Angeles to work with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card gym.
Upon splitting with Roach, Khan was based in Hayward, California, training alongside Virgil Hunter. Hunter, however, was hospitalised earlier this month and Khan, as a result, has had to look elsewhere ahead of his first fight in two years.
On March 17, a statement issued by Team Hunter explained: “Virgil Hunter experienced a health scare this week and was hospitalised. We are happy to report that he is recovering and getting stronger every day. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and request that his privacy be respected while he recovers. There will not be any further statements made at this time as we allow him to heal.”
With a fight just around the corner, Khan, 31, has no time to waste and Joe Goossen, brother of the late promoter Dan, is an experienced, no-nonsense Californian synonymous with Michael Nunn, the Ruelas brothers, Gabriel and Rafael, as well as Diego Corrales. In fact, Goossen, famous for wearing colourful shirts on fight night, is probably best-known for telling Corrales to “f*****g get inside on him now!” moments before ‘Chico’, having been decked twice, somehow managed to stop Jose Luis Castillo in round 10 of their epic war.
“Due to Virgil Hunter’s health issues I had to make a decision to bring someone else in before my fight with Phil Lo Greco, which is only a few weeks away,” Khan told Boxing News. “Virgil is a great trainer and I’m hoping he makes a swift recovery. Tony Brady will still be doing my strength and conditioning, and the rest of the team will be the same.
“I had to make a quick decision and I’m happy to be working with Joe for this fight. Joe is a top trainer and I’ve enjoyed the time we have spent together so far. Everyone knows him from his time with the likes of Diego Corrales and Michael Nunn, so I’m really happy that we are able to work together. He’ll be in the UK with me for the next month and will be head trainer on fight night.”
All at Boxing News wish Virgil a speedy recovery.