The legendary Freddie Roach, trainer of Britain’s Amir Khan, has launched a scathing attack on WBC/IBF light welterweight champion Devon Alexander.
He has also claimed WBO champ Michael Katsidis has demanded extortionate money to fight Khan in Britain, and said Khan, who won his American debut with an 11th round TKO over Paulie Malignaggi last month, needs to be back in Roach´s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles this week if he is to prepare correctly for a July 31 date against an as yet unspecified opponent.
Roach also said he is also ready to train Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao for whoever he fights next.
“Amir will back in the gym soon. He has to be. He fought a great fight in New York against Paulie Malignaggi. He fought the right fight,” Roach said. “If he does take the fight on July 31, he needs to get back over here and get in the gym this week. I hear they were talking to Katsidis but he wanted too much money. My view is that Amir is ready for anyone right now.”
Brendon Smith, Katsidis’s manager, claims it is Khan who is refusing to fight his man. In the meantime, former two time world champion and Olympic gold medalist, 38 year old Cuban legend Joel Casamayor is waiting in the wings. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, with whom Kahn is a client, is in the UK this week, and is likely to confirm Khan´s next opponent during his stay.
23 year old WBA light welterweight champion Khan (23-1, 17 ko’s) made an impact on both the US boxing writers and US television executives with his dominant performance against former IBF champion Malignaggi two weeks ago.
As Freddie Roach said; “They had only heard about him and had not really seen him since the amateur days at the Olympics. Look, he’s an exciting fighter, he exchanges with people, and the TV guys love that.”
Roach also turned his attention to three of Khan’s rivals in the light welterweight division.
“Who is Devon Alexander anyway?’’ asked Roach. ‘’ We’ve seen him on TV, I’ve seen him once and I didn’t see anything special. The other guy – [WBO champion Timothy] Bradley – one of my young boxers Jose Benavidez sparred with him and had no trouble and he struggled in a recent fight, but looked good in his last fight.”
“Marcos Maidana (big punching current WBA no.1 contender) we can take on any day of the week. Go and build these other guys up some we can make these into bog fights. Bradley is fighting Andreas Kotelnik next, why is he fighting him? The real issue here is that the 140lb champions are not ready to fight each other because no one is making serious offers.”
Roach also spoke about his superstar, the one and olnly Manny Pacquiao.
“I’m hoping the fight with Floyd Mayweather happens – like everyone else. The saga has gone on for so long, my strategy now is just to think that whoever he fights, I’ll get him ready for it. Of course, I’d love him to fight Mayweather, but sometimes for whatever reason, these fights don’t happen. Let’s hope the promoters can meet in the middle.”