SHOULD Amir Khan shock the world and take Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s WBC middleweight title on Saturday night, the fearsome Gennady Golovkin will be his mandatory. And though Khan has previously stated that the Kazakh would be too big, the Englishman’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, confirmed they will take on Golovkin next.
“If he [Khan] wins we’ll fight Golovkin,” said Hunter.
Hunter, like Khan, is focused purely on the task at hand and would not confirm that Khan will stay at middleweight indefinitely (the Canelo showdown is set at 155lbs).
“You just have to deal with this one [Canelo]. I never even gave it a thought [staying at middleweight]. I would be doing him a disservice if I let my mind wander because I might do it Saturday night. I really need to be watching this, my mind is on what he’s got to do Saturday night,” said Hunter.
“This fight is not going to affect the rest of his [Khan’s] career because he’s not supposed to win. Show me one article where it says he’s the favourite. Show me the odds. He’s not supposed to win, so no he’s got nothing to lose.”
Hunter, speaking inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, admitted that the jump in weight was not planned – it was merely down to Khan’s desire to test himself against someone of Alvarez’s calibre.
“No one can dispute Amir is going up to middleweight because he’s been looking for a big fight,” Hunter explained. “There are some guys who’ve been fighting so long that it’s hard to get up for a fight. You’re looking for a challenge. That’s him [Khan] saying I wonder how good I really am and you see all great athletes to that.
“He wants to know, when I really put myself in a dangerous situation, I want to see how good I am and I’m willing to put myself in a very dangerous situation to find out.
“It’s very rare in the sport, but I think all fighters should do that. I encourage it.”
Hunter insists it was a contest that Khan had to take, irrespective of the risks attached to fighting someone like Alvarez.
“If he fought [Manny] Pacquiao and [Floyd] Mayweather he’d be taking the same risks. Losing, no matter how you lose, the same risk. He could get hurt in those fights so I don’t see any difference really.”
It seems that Khan’s best chance is to remain elusive, and win on the scorecards. Hunter would not be surprised if his charge was to win inside schedule, but that is clearly not the game plan.
“I would be surprised if he went for a knockout and got one,” said Hunter. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if the elements presented themselves and maybe he caught him in the right spot – anybody could be knocked out then.”