LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britain’s Amir Khan says undefeated Carlos Molina will be in for a surprise when they meet this week in a bout where the normally offensively-oriented fighter plans to unveil a new-look defense.
Khan, who lost his last two fights after some defensive lapses, will get a chance to display his back-to-basics approach when he meets the 27-year-old Mexican American on Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
“He’s seen the old Amir Khan,” the Bolton boxer told Reuters in a recent interview. “He doesn’t know what the new one looks like or fights like. He might think he knows what to do, but on Saturday night he’s going to see a completely new Amir Khan.”
It is a change that Khan, (26-3, 18 KOs), says was necessary in the wake of July’s shock light-welterweight title loss to American Danny Garcia, in which he was knocked down three times en route to a fourth-round stoppage.
Khan said the first step to retooling his approach was leaving the famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where he had been working with Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, and switching to the gym of Virgil Hunter in quieter Hayward, California.
“I got to know too many people in LA. It’s an amazing place, there’s so much to do, but there are a lot of distractions at the same time,” said Khan.
“It was fun, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t regret any of the time I spent there. But I needed to get my head down now, and be somewhere a lot quieter and just focus more on boxing.”
Khan said one thing in particular he wants to focus on is tightening up a porous defense that also led to a first-round knockout loss to Colombian Breidis Prescott in 2008.
“Everyone knows I‘m an attacking fighter, but I want to be an all-around fighter,” he said. “I’ve got one of the best offenses in the world, but it’s defensively that I‘m lacking.”
That combination has made Khan one of the most consistently exciting fighters in the sport, win or lose, but he admits that, for his own sake, he needs to adjust that style.
“I need to think a bit more about myself, and sometimes you do have to be boring and just get that win,” said Khan.
“Sometimes the win is more important than being exciting. That said, I won’t lose all my excitement. I still have it in me.”
Editing by Frank Pingue