MANILA, Philippines – There are no hard feelings between Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and former stablemate Amir “King” Khan after the British boxer decided to replace trainer Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao and Khan were often sparring partners when they were still both under Roach. But after two consecutive losses, Khan decided to cut ties with the Hall of Fame trainer, hiring 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter to replace him.
In an interview with the UK Express website, Khan revealed that he informed Pacquiao of his decision to leave Roach’s stable.
“Manny said that if you feel you need to go with another trainer, then you have to do what you think is right,” Khan said.
“He was cool with my decision. He was very supportive, and I have a lot of respect for him,” he added.
One reason for their split was that Khan felt he was not being given enough attention by Roach, partly because the American trainer also had to work with Pacquiao and Mexican prodigy Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
However, Khan will also have to share his new trainer with another top boxer. Hunter is also the coach of super middleweight king Andre Ward, though Khan believes there will be no conflict.
“When I spoke to Virgil, I said I knew he had Andre, but that I wanted to make sure I would not be second best,” he said. “His words were that if we were both fighting, we would both be his No. 1 fighters.”
“He told me I am not a baby, so in the week of a fight, he might not be with me until the day before. But he will still give me 100%, and whenever I need him, he will be there,” Khan added.
Khan will return to the ring this December against unbeaten boxer Carlos Molina, and the former world champion admitted that he was in a must-win situation.
“I need to win this fight. It’s make or break,” he said. “That’s why I have changed everything. This is on the line, 100%. I have to make sure I don’t make any mistakes.”