Tag Archives: freddie

Edgar Davids swears live on TV

I'm f******* Edgar Davids! Barnet midfielder casually swears live on Sky… and who's going to argue with him



13:46 GMT, 11 November 2012

Edgar Davids upset Sky producers but delighted Twitter users with a slip of the tongue during Goals on Sunday.

'I'm f****** Edgar Davids,' declared Barnet's Dutch midfielder and joint-manager while appearing as a guest on the Sky Sports 1 football highlights show.

Scroll down for video

Who's going to argue Edgar Davids (left), next to Ian Wright, swore on live TV

Who's going to argue Edgar Davids (left), next to Ian Wright, swore on live TV

Oops: Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara looked surprised

Oops: Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara looked surprised


Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel leave David Coulthard red faced

Freddie Ljungberg swears on Match of the Day 2

And a classic…

In 1992 Paul Gascoigne was asked on Scandinavian TV if he had a message for Norway.

'Yes,' the enigmatic England player replied. 'F*** off Norway'.

Much mirth was had on the social network
at Davids' error – the midfielder has a legendary status in the game
and few would argue with anything he says.

'Edgar Davids, what a beast!' exclaimed one person, while another said he was 'one cool cat'.

Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara who host the programme both apologised for the bad language which came about when Davids was asked how he wound up at League Two Barnet.

Shephard said: 'You were training at a Sunday League side in Brixton… how did the opportunity to play for Barnet come about'

Davids explained: 'I was living in Barnet and a friend of mine played Sunday League also and they asked me to play a game.'

continued: 'I went there and I was OK and in the second half I was
sitting on the bench for five minutes… and you know what… I'm
fucking Edgar Davids!'

the apologies Davids explained how after that he had been called up by
the Barnet chairman and he paid the club a visit before deciding to

When Davids joined Barnet were rock bottom and although they still languish 23rd have only lost once in the last five games.

One cool cat: Davids' slip of the tongue was enjoyed by many

One cool cat: Davids' slip of the tongue was enjoyed by many

**Contains strong language**

Mike Tyson sued for 30,000

Get on a flight, Mike! Tyson ordered to cough-up 30k to Polish boxing organiser… who can claim cash while former champion is in UK



15:02 GMT, 9 November 2012

A court in Poland has ordered Mike Tyson to pay 30,000 in compensation to the organizer of a boxing gala for which the former heavyweight champion did not show up last year.

The decision took effect this month after Tyson did not appeal it, and can be executed through European Union regulations on British territory, Judge Igor Tuleya, a spokesman for the Regional Court in Warsaw.

The Polish organizer of the gala, Tomasz Babilonski, sued Tyson in March for 30,000 compensation and interest.

Word of advice: Tyson has been in the UK to visit Freddie Flintoff ahead of his debut bout

Word of advice: Tyson has been in the UK to visit Freddie Flintoff ahead of his debut bout

The Gazeta Wyborcza daily said Babilonski filed the suit because Tyson’s managers were refusing to talk about any compensation.

Tyson has been in the UK to visit Andrew Flintoff who will take to the ring at the Manchester Arena on November 30.

Freddie has revealed a pep talk from former world heavyweight champion has spurred him on as the countdown continues to his boxing debut.

Former England cricketer Flintoff – who has been training under the tutelage of Irish legend Barry McGuigan and his son Shane – will make his debut in the bout.

No show: The Polish event organiser claimed Tyson's no-show cost him money

No show: The Polish event organiser claimed Tyson's no-show cost him money

And a visit from Tyson has inspired the 34-year-old to push himself to the limits between now and fight night.

'It was amazing to meet Tyson because as a kid he was one of my heroes,’ Flintoff said. ‘So to have him come down to the gym – not only that, but to talk to me about it all was amazing.

'He spoke a lot about the emotion of boxing and it was all relevant to how I was feeling. So to hear it from Mike Tyson made me realise it was okay for me to feel like that too.'

Heyday: Tyson is still revered for his exploits in the boxing ring

Heyday: Tyson is still revered for his exploits in the boxing ring

Amir Khan: Freddie Roach"s Parkinson"s disease not to blame for defeats

Khan: Roach's Parkinson's disease is NOT to blame for defeats… they are my fault



18:01 GMT, 1 November 2012

Amir Khan has defended himself in the face of strong criticism for appearing to blame Freddie Roach's Parkinson's disease for his split from the trainer.

Former undisputed light-welterweight champion Khan and Roach parted company in the wake of his defeat by Danny Garcia in August and the 25-year-old has since appointed Virgil Hunter as his coach.

Speaking in promotion of his fight against Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15, Khan stated that Roach's ability to train was being impaired by his illness.

Glory days: Amir Khan (right) with former trainer Freddie Roach (left)

Glory days: Amir Khan (right) with former trainer Freddie Roach (left)

'It's hard to see him older and getting worse. I wish him the best,' he said.
'Freddie, with the Parkinson's disease, he was struggling with instructions and couldn't move as well.'

But Khan has used his Twitter account to clarify his comments, stressing he does not hold Roach accountable for his losses to Lamont Peterson and Garcia.

'Hey guys I didn't say Freddie Roach is a bad trainer, he's one of the best out there and took my career to a high winning two world titles,' Khan said.

'I blame myself for the losses in my career. Not blaming Freddie Roach or anyone. I just needed a change.'

Next up: Khan is busy promoting his next fight against Carlos Molina

Next up: Khan is busy promoting his next fight against Carlos Molina

Roach responded by stating his Parkinson's was not the cause of his split from Khan.

'If that was true, why would he say to me fire Manny Pacquiao and Julio Chavez Jr, and they'll keep me Him, his father, his lawyer and his uncle all said that,' he said.

'It had nothing to do with Parkinson's. They know that. And I wish them the best of luck.'

Amir Khan: Lose Carlos Molina fight and Floyd Mayweather dream is over

Lose against Molina and dream of Pacquiao or Mayweather fight is over, admits Khan



17:47 GMT, 31 October 2012

Amir Khan believes he must score a convincing win in his comeback against unbeaten Carlos Molina next month or kiss goodbye to any chance of super-fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Khan's career has lurched dangerously off course in the past 11 months, with his deeply controversial points defeat to Lamont Peterson last December followed by a crushing fourth round knockout loss against Danny Garcia in July.

Those twin setbacks have left Khan with no margin for error as he prepares to face Molina in the American’s backyard at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on December 15.

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Fighting talk: Khan speaks during a media conference for his upcoming fight

Fighting talk: Khan speaks in Los Angeles on Wednesday during a media conference for his upcoming fight

'There’s always pressure when I fight but I definitely have to win this because if I lose, I’m done,' Khan said. 'This is a fight I need to win, 100 per cent. If I don’t win it I’m done. It’s that simple. The big super-fights I’ve always dreamed about won’t be there if I lose this. Pacquiao, Mayweather — forget it'

In an attempt to revitalize his fortunes, Khan took the bold step of ditching revered trainer Freddie Roach in favour of the quietly-spoken San Francisco-based Virgil Hunter.

The 25-year-old Bolton light welterweight has been in camp at Hunter’s gym in Oakland and is reveling in the austere surroundings, where Hunter’s house rules a ban on swearing.

'It’s a very tight community in that gym. You need to have people there you trust. Virgil keeps it very limited and that’s what I like about it,' Khan said. 'You’re not bothered about who’s watching, you’re not training for a crowd, or fans.'

A whole lot of glove: Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Wednesday

A whole lot of glove: Local boy Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena

Khan was forced into an impromptu sparring session in early October when a gang of thugs attempted to steal a Ranger Rover he had been driving with his brother in Birmingham.

The confrontation ended abruptly with one of the would-be thieves being knocked out cold by Khan.

'I walked out of this caf and I opened the car door and these guys jumped in the car ahead of me and said “This ain’t your car mate,”' Khan said.

'It was a courtesy car I’d be given so at first I did a double take and thought, “Maybe it’s not my car”. Then I saw something in the back seat that I’d put there and I knew it was my car. Then the guys started saying – “We’re not getting out the car. You’re going to have to buy it off us”. I had the car keys so I wasn’t too worried. I thought it was a joke. But then it got a bit serious and one guy came out aggressively and said “What are going to do” And he jabbed me in the face. It wasn’t hard. He barely scratched me really. He tried to swing again and I knocked him out.

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

'I hated it to be honest with you. I never fight outside the ring. We’re born fighters, we’re taught how to fight.

'So when someone tries to fight you they’re making a big mistake. That’s when it got messy because they came out with baseball bats and sticks and smashed the rear window. They must have been drunk or high or something.'

Meanwhile Khan, who is engaged to New York student Faryal Makhdoom, has shrugged off revelations about his private life after allegations in The Sun he had been partying hard with other women in Marbella in August.

Khan insisted his fiance trusted him.

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

'She’s cool, she knows the truth because I didn’t do anything honestly,' Khan said. 'She doesn’t believe anything that the papers say because I’m honest to her. I don’t lie and she knows there’s always going to be stuff written about me.

'It’s a distraction when you’re preparing for a fight. But my fiance and my family haven’t really spoken to me about it.'

Newcastle"s Muslim players could boycott Wonga sponsor on shirt

Cisse and Ba could lead Muslim players' boycott of wearing new Wonga sponsor on Newcastle shirt



09:08 GMT, 10 October 2012

Newcastle's Muslim stars could refuse to wear the club's new sponsor on their shirt.

In the latest controversy surrounding the club's deal with loan company Wonga, Newcastle now face a tricky situation with several of their senior players.

Under Sharia law, Muslims must not benefit from either lending money or receiving money from another person – meaning that interest is prohibited. Interest is not paid on Islamic bank accounts or added to mortgages.

Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa are all practising Muslims.

Deal: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, managing director Derek Llambias, Wonga CEO Errol Damelin and chief narketing officer Darryl Bowman

Deal: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, managing director Derek Llambias, Wonga CEO Errol Damelin and chief narketing officer Darryl Bowman

They may follow the stance of former Tottenham and West Ham striker Freddie Kanoute, who refused to wear the logo of gambling website 888.com on his Seville shirt over his religious beliefs.

Kanoute instead wore an an unbranded top in Spain, although he agreed to wear the logo during training.

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, told The Independent: 'There are two aspects to this. We have the rulings of the religious law and we have the individual’s choice and decision on how they want to follow or not follow that rule.

'The idea is to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful.

'When they are lending and are
charging large amounts of interest, it means the poor will have
short-term benefit from the loan but long-term difficulty in paying it
back because the rate of interest is not something they can keep up
with. The Islamic system is based on a non-interest-based system of

was allowed to wear a top without the 888.com and that is a reasonable
request to be made by the player. Assuming all four are on the pitch at
the same time, if you have seven out of 11 (with advertising on their
shirts) you have sufficient coverage. It is not asking too much, I



Star men: (clockwise from top left) Papiss Cisse, Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa are Muslims

Ben Arfa


Wonga, whose four-year deal takes over from Virgin Money at the start of next season, has already drawn fierce criticism from other quarters for the huge interest charged on 30-day loans

Should a Newcastle fan accept a loan to buy a 50 club shirt, they would have to repay 71.92 after a month with a rate equivalent to 4,212 per cent per year.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: 'The Football Supporters’ Federation of Britain told us in no uncertain terms it’s not appropriate, (Sunderland non-executive vice-president) David Miliband has told us he does not think it is appropriate.

'We are talking to the leagues on Friday about it. If you consider it as in the category of things that are inappropriate for children like gambling and alcohol, it feels like it is in that category to me.'

Newcastle and Wonga have attempted to take the sting out of criticism by announcing that the club's ground will revert to its former name St James' Park.


But they still face a tough task convincing fans and football chiefs that the deal is appropriate for such a high-profile side.

Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council, said: 'I’m appalled and sickened that they would sign a deal with a legal loan shark. It’s a sad indictment of the profit-at-any-price culture at Newcastle United.

'We are fighting hard to tackle legal and illegal loan sharking and having a company like this right across the city on every football shirt that’s sold undermines all our work.'

Debt is acute in the Newcastle area, with official figures from R3, the trade body for insolvency professionals, showing that the north-east has the highest personal insolvency rate in the country at 35.2 per 10,000 adults.

Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said: 'As everyone knows, a strong commercial programme is vital to this goal and I am delighted to welcome Wonga into the fold as our lead commercial partner, alongside Puma and Sports Direct.

'Throughout our discussions, Wonga’s desire to help us invest in our young playing talent, the local community and new fan initiatives really impressed us and stood them apart from other candidates.'

Amir Khan parties with Mario Balotelli in Manchester

Is this your new trainer, Amir Khan parties with City striker Balotelli after splitting from Roach



13:30 GMT, 16 September 2012

Just days after splitting from his trainer Amir Khan was out on the town with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

Khan brought an end to his four year spell with Freddie Roach at the end of last week and is expected to announce a new trainer within the coming weeks.

While Khan takes time out of the ring to consider his next move, having lost his last fight to Danny Garcia in July, the Bolton boxer was out enjoying an evening in Manchester with friends – and the City striker.

Good friends: Amir Khan and Mario Balotteli out in Manchester

Good friends: Amir Khan and Mario Balotteli out in Manchester

Khan and Balotelli were spotted at Manchester’s Circle Club after Balotelli had been in action for Premier League champions City during the 1-1 draw away at Stoke.

Khan tweeted: ‘mario balotelli always on 1’

Balotelli is no stranger to boxing after he was involved in a training ground bust-up with team-mate Micah Richards last season.

Arriving in style: Khan Turns up at The Circle Club in Manchester in a friends Ferrari California sportscar

Arriving in style: Khan Turns up at The Circle Club in Manchester in a friends Ferrari California sportscar

Several players, including James
Milner, Yaya Toure and captain Vincent Kompany, had to battle to keep
the two players apart after the Italian reacted to a stray pass in
training by Richards.

On his split from Roach, Khan said in
a statement: ‘After nearly four years together, in which we enjoyed
some great success, I part ways with my trainer Freddie Roach.

‘I would like to thank him for all his hardwork and help during this period and express my gratitude to him for the progress he helped bring about whilst I was under him.

‘I would also like to thank his team. I loved every minute training in LA at the Wildcard Gym, learning and sparring alongside some truly great fighters and meeting some fantastic people.

‘I feel now, however, is the right time in my career to make a fresh change and bring in a new trainer.

Enjoying a night out: Khan poses for pictures with his friends

Enjoying a night out: Khan poses for pictures with his friends

‘I'm looking forward, and am excited, about the prospect of working alongside someone new. I will make an announcement in due course of who this will be.

‘There are some specific aspects of my game I'm looking to work on and hopefully improve. My next training camp begins in early October and I will have everything in place by then.’

Lawrence Okoye interview: London 2012 Olympics discus thrower

How a 67-year-old coach turned a schoolboy giant into an Olympic gold medal contender



21:30 GMT, 21 July 2012

Going for gold: Lawrence Okoye is not going just to compete

Going for gold: Lawrence Okoye is not going just to compete

Eighteen months have passed, yet John Hillier remembers every detail of the telephone conversation. The caller was one of the athletes he coached. He had a friend who wanted to be taught by Hillier.

The coach asked what the friend did: 'He's a discus thrower.' How far could he throw it 'Not very far.' Then, finally: 'What's he like' A pause: 'Big.' A deep chuckle rumbles across the room. 'I wasn't small,' says Lawrence Okoye. 'I was 6ft 5in and about 20st at the time. And I was still at school.'

A meeting was arranged and, using his student travelcard, Okoye caught three buses across south-east London from his home near Croydon before arriving at Hillier's training squad at Sutcliffe Park in Kidbrooke.

'He was hopeless,' says Hillier. 'He had a best of 47metres, and it flattered him. He threw the discus the way Freddie Flintoff bowled a cricket ball.' Okoye nods in bashful agreement.

'As soon as I got there, I realised just how bad I was,' he says. But the coach had seen possibilities; size, of course, but also speed, strength and a willingness to learn. He sensed a raw talent. They fixed up another session, and when it was over, Okoye asked how he had done.

Hillier debated what he was going to say, then he said it anyway: 'Do you realise you could make the London Olympics' In four decades of coaching, Hillier has developed some fine athletes. But he knew, beyond question, that Lawrence Okoye might surpass them all.

If soaring potential should translate into solid performance, then this was the young man whose talent could validate all those years of patient striving. And so they started to work, mostly on technique. 'That's the key,' says Hillier.

'It's easy to get in the gym, work hard and grow strong. But the skill factor has to be there. I tried to pass on a very basic technique at first. It was just a matter of getting him to steer the car correctly. Then, six weeks later, he went out and threw 64m. A year ago, he took the British record with 67.63m. It was unbelievable! Something you dream about.'

Record holder: Okoye took the British record

Record holder: Okoye took the British record

The sheer scope of Okoye's abilities made him enviable material for a coach. He had received staunch support from his school, Whitgift, as a rugby player, a sprinter, finally as a thrower. Despite his vast bulk, he returned 11.02sec for 100m and he played his rugby on the wing. Hillier shakes his head: 'Imagine having him running at you!'

He also possesses a considerable intellect. His scholarship at Whitgift was awarded on academic grounds and he won a place at St Peter's College, Oxford, to read law. He took it all in his stride.

'You don't want to be an average person,' he says. 'You want to stand out a bit. A school like that, it's full of people who want to be the best they can be.' But for now, all that drive and energy is channelled into the discus, and Hillier is facing a test of his own.

It is a truth rarely acknowledged that British athletics gets a free ride on the back of its coaches. Over the next few weeks, our athletes will declare their remarkable talents, while the men and women who encouraged and polished those talents will take their anonymous seats outside the spotlight's beam; guiding, analysing, occasionally praying.

John Hillier is among the best of that self-effacing breed. He loved his active service as one of the country's leading discus throwers, winning a Commonwealth bronze medal in 1974. But coaching was always his forte.

Down the years, he has spent an uncountable number of winter nights pacing austere weight rooms or standing by a dimly-lit throwing circle. At 67, he has never earned a penny from the sport he loves, and he has never complained.

Smart: Okoye is not just an athlete, he is also intelligent

Smart: Okoye is not just an athlete, he is also intelligent

'Essentially, we're all volunteers,' he says. 'When you look at the successful athletes, the majority of them are coached by amateurs, in the best sense of the word. There are times when you get frustrated, when the athletes lose interest or let you down and you think, “God, the time I've spent on them!”'

'It's cost me a fortune, physically as well as financially. Maybe I should have looked after myself a bit better. But I've loved most of the athletes I've coached and I've enjoyed their successes. I'm told I've coached more English Schools winners than anyone ever; more than 50. I'm quite proud of that. And then, just as I'm coming to the end of my coaching career, someone like Lawrence comes along.'

Despite being separated by 47 years, each man is comfortable in the other's company. Hillier's methods were rewarded by Okoye pushing his own record out to 68.24m in Halle, Germany, two months ago, which raised him to third in the world and brought the peaks of the sport into view. '

None of this would have happened without John's coaching,' he says. 'It was vital. He's got a real commitment to his athletes. People let him down, but he always bounces back. I couldn't do that. It's a great quality. And all for no pay! That can't be right.'

Hillier shrugs it all off, the praise and the sympathy. 'I used to have six or seven in my training group. Now there's almost a dozen, and all because of what Lawrence has done. I'm no better or worse a coach than I was 10 years ago. I don't know any more than I did. And Lawrence is certainly not the best coaching I've done. He just happens to be the most talented.

'There comes a point when I have to say: this guy is a potential Olympic champion, certainly by 2016. I'd consider my coaching ability was really poor if he couldn't be the world No 1 in another year or so.

Potential: Okoye is not at his peak yet

Potential: Okoye is not at his peak yet

'Over the past six months, in Cape Town and San Diego, I've talked to all the best coaches, the people who really know discus, and they all say Lawrence is the future. And they're right. He's still struggling for technique, he's not the finished article. But when we get him there, he'll break the world record.'

Yet first, there is London. Hillier believes that his man is a genuine competitor, the kind who will thrive on pressure. 'I've been trying to get him to visualise the occasion,' he says.

'I told him that when a race starts, there's going to be eight runners all going together. But when a thrower steps into that arena, there's just him. And the stadium will be with him, looking at him, screaming for him. Then it's time to perform.'

Okoye seems unconcerned by the notion. He knows that his immediate future will be decided by his performance at the Games. Oxford is alluring, but an Olympic medal would be life-changing. Rugby remains an option, since there is a market for one who now weighs 21st and retains his sprinter's speed. It is a captivating dilemma, but for the moment all his ambitions are concentrated on that discus circle in a stadium in east London.

He is not the favourite; indeed, it would be a major surprise if he were to emerge at the top of the heap. But he is blessed with largely untapped ability, so all things are possible. And he knows it.


How far Okoye has come

'I'm capable of throwing further,' he says. 'How far, I can't know. But I'm fascinated to find out where all the training's brought me. That day in Halle, I was in the zone, laughing my way into the circle. Weird! The day before I wasn't feeling great but suddenly I was ready. Rising to the occasion. That's what the Olympics will do. The stadium will have an effect and I'm strong now. I've progressed. I'm not going to the Games just to participate.'

Hillier listens and smiles. The cat with the cream. This is what he wants to hear. 'He's been great for me,' he says. 'D'you know, he bought me a laptop, so he can send me stuff about training. Bought it out of his own money! I was staggered. He just presented me with it, so I've had to use it. Now I can help him a bit more.'

Okoye gives him a stare. 'He's not easy with computers,' he says. 'He has that kind of old school mentality and I'm new school, but somehow it all gels.'

Hillier is relishing his belated recognition. Last week, he was contacted by Britain's head coach Charles van Commenee and told he was to be a member of the official track and field coaching team. He was more thrilled than he admits.

'Apparently, I can get myself kitted out in the full GB uniform,' he says. And he adds: 'I shall probably sleep in it.' The thought provokes a memory of his first international vest, in the late sixties.

'I had to buy my own tracksuit. True! A man named Cecil Dale was in charge of finances. We all met at Heathrow, and we had to put in travel expenses from home. I asked for 5, Woolwich to London Airport. And Cecil said: 'I've looked it up, young Hillier, and you're wrong. It should come to 4 19 shillings. And that's what he gave me!'

Okoye emits that rumbling chuckle again, even if he seems slightly puzzled by mention of pre-decimal money. 'Never mind, John,' he says. 'You've paid your dues.'

Indeed he has, and not only John Hillier, but all those other coaches without whom the sport could not flourish. Over these next few weeks, when history is written and great deeds are done, we will do well to remember their efforts.

Amir Khan could change coach after Danny Garcia defeat

Defensive tactics: Khan keeping coaching options open after Garcia humbling



00:52 GMT, 19 July 2012

Amir Khan has cast further doubt on his alliance with Freddie Roach after revealing he will appoint a defensive coach to help him become a world champion again.

The fallout from the chastening way he lost his light-welterweight crown to Danny Garcia in Las Vegas on Saturday has been dominated by questions over how his relationship with Roach works.

Decisions: Amir Khan is keeping his options open

Decisions: Amir Khan is keeping his options open

Khan, 25, wants someone to give him
'total commitment' and also believes he needs someone to help him
defensively. How Roach would work with in such a set up remains to be

‘Offensively, I’m one of the best
fighters out there, trained by the best offensive trainer there is,’
said Khan. ‘Defensively, yeah, there's a lot of room for improvement.

‘In the next couple of months, I'm
going to find out who can help me. I need to improve. I'm a Freddie
Roach fighter, but things can change.

‘I will sit down with my team and
throw a few names around and make a decision. It’s something I need to
speak to Freddie about. I need at least 10 weeks one-to-one preparation
for fights.’

Pay the price: Freddie Roach (left) could bear the cost of Khan's defeat

Pay the price: Freddie Roach (left) could bear the cost of Khan's defeat

Khan, meanwhile, has insisted there
should be no fears about him ‘selling out’ after he welcomed to the US
Olympic Boxing team to his gym in Bolton. They will be using the venue
to prepare for London 2012.

He was presented with a Team USA
tracksuit as a thank you but Khan, who won a silver medal at Athens in
2004, said: ‘”I won't give any tips to the English guys – don't worry!”

‘The Americans came to me, I didn't go
to them. I couldn't say no to them. But I am going down to the Team GB
camp. I'm going to be going down there to speak to them – if they want

Amir Khan hints at split from Freddie Roach

Khan hints at split from trainer Roach following Garcia humiliation



21:00 GMT, 16 July 2012

Amir Khan will review his relationship with the world’s top boxing trainer following the brutal loss of his world title.

Britain’s fallen world light-welterweight champion retains absolute belief in the skills of Freddie Roach but he is ready to give the maestro of the Wild Card gym an ultimatum which he may not be able to accept.

Khan wants Roach to make him his first priority, ahead of pound-for-pound legend Manny Pacquiao, after his defeat by Danny Garcia here on Saturday.

Down and out: Khan hits the canvas in Las Vegas

Down and out: Khan hits the canvas in Las Vegas

‘The time has come for me to be No 1 in my training camp,’ said Khan. ‘I’ve got to start putting myself first and stop worrying about other people.’

Roach has guided the Briton to the boxing summit but has required him to fit in with the schedule of the legendary Pacquiao, which involves training in the Philippines for weeks at a time.

Khan does not hold Roach responsible for his latest loss, shouldering much of the blame himself when he says: ‘I’m too brave for my own good sometimes. I don’t need to take the risks which result in me getting caught by the big left hook which changed this fight.’

However, the brief but savage beating he took here is forcing him to re-assess his entire strategy.

Top trainer: Khan retains his belief in Roach's skills

Top trainer: Khan retains his belief in Roach's skills

Nursing a badly marked face and a damaged ear as he discussed his future, Khan said: ‘I can’t afford to make any more mistakes. Me and my team must go over every detail and make changes where necessary. It’s time for me to grow up. I’m a man now, not a boy. I’m the one who has to do the fighting and take the punches so I must be the main focus of everyone around me.’

He added: ‘I really enjoy my time living and working with Freddie in Los Angeles but I don’t know what the effect is on me of all the other travelling to be with him and Manny. Maybe from this point I should spend more time in England, in my comfort zone.’

Champion Amir Khan now fit for purpose after living the dry life…

Champion Khan now fit for purpose and ready to face Garcia after living the dry life



22:18 GMT, 12 July 2012

Water is a more precious commodity in
the desert than the world title which has rightly been restored to Amir
Khan and which he will carry proudly into the ring before his big fight
on Saturday night.

Yet even here in Nevada, as temperatures hit a record-breaking 115 degrees Fahrenheit, Khan wants less of it.

Much less.

Sound advice: Khan says he is fitter than ever after ditching Alex Arizas unusual methods and appointing Tavares (left)

Sound advice: Khan says he is fitter than ever after ditching Alex Arizas unusual methods and appointing Tavares (left)

As he primes himself for the draining attempt to unify the WBA title he has reclaimed from drug cheat Lamont Peterson with the WBC belt worn by unbeaten Danny Garcia, Khan is moderating his liquid intake and reducing his time in the pool to a minimum. And never mind that he has to get up to run at 4am to avoid dehydrating in the searing heat of daytime in Las Vegas.

A regime which entailed excessive swimming and the intake of gallons of water has been terminated by Khan's dismissal of the physical conditioner who imposed those unconventional practices.

Khan inherited Alex Ariza, who is Manny Pacquiao's fitness coach and nutritionist, when he joined the PacMan at master trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Hollywood. Khan sacked Ariza when he took unauthorised time out from his training camp to pick up extra money moonlighting with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.

For the Briton, this has become a blessing in disguise.

Ariza's replacement Ruben Tavares, who worked previously with David Haye, has eradicated those extreme methods and our young man from Bolton could not be more delighted.

Rival: Danny Garcia

Rival: Danny Garcia

Not only that but he looks to be exactly what he tells us he feels: 'Fitter, healthier, fresher, sharper.'

He adds: 'All the swimming was too much. We still go into the pool for brief spells of resistance work but the continual lapping was wearing.'

Roach could not be more approving of the change: 'There is no correlation between swimming and boxing. In fact, it's detrimental.'

But it was the gulping down of water until his system was awash which most concerned Khan and those around him.

'I was drinking hundreds of bottles of water,' says Khan. 'I hated it. I felt sick from it and I didn't want to eat. I was bloated. Then in the nights before the weigh-in I got hardly any sleep because I had to keep getting up to go to the bathroom.

'I did it because I always do what our experts tell me but I was tired. I was also around 152lb, so I had to take off almost a stone in the last day before going to the scales.

Then I'd blow up again in the 24 hours up to the fight. It didn't work for me. Now I'm only drinking two litres of water a day. If you see the pictures taken then my body looked full. I had nothing like the muscular definition I have now.'

Boost: Khan has been reinstated as world champion

Boost: Khan has been reinstated as the WBA champion

Tavares, formerly a track-and-field athlete himself, was alarmed: 'The theory was to get Amir into the ring on the night as big and heavy as possible but he was taking on water to the point where his body was being flooded.'

The swimming pool was exhausting but this was the Drowning Pool.

The act of over-hydrating has been blamed for fatalities, particular among young people obsessed with dieting. In effect they have drowned.The water-bloating may also have been dulling the edge of Khan's most potent weapon – his speed – in recent fights.

That asset established him as the betting favourite on the Vegas Strip even before his confidence and motivation were boosted by his reinstatement as a world champion and the bonus of having The Ring magazine belt put on the line here.

That version of the title was declared vacant as the bible of boxing invoked a new policy removing from their rankings any fighter who tests positive for drugs.

I had the pleasure of telling Khan of these developments after Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy promotions, received formal confirmation of the WBA's decision. He was thrilled.

Drugs cheat: Lamont Peterson (left)

Drugs cheat: Lamont Peterson (left)

The IBF are now alone in resisting stripping Peterson until he has presented his medical excuse for having a pellet full of steroids implanted in his hip before he was given a controversial hometown decision over Khan.

The other authorities involved are growing tired of waiting. Peterson has already missed two dates for a Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing.

Khan says: 'Things happen for a reason. If Peterson hadn't been caught I would have been fighting him as the challenger in a re-match for my belts. Now I am honoured to go back into the ring as the WBA champion.

'I have the chance I've always wanted to win a WBC belt – like all the top fighters such as Floyd Mayweather have done – plus I've also wanted to box for The Ring title. 'This is now my opportunity to wrap up this division and prove I'm the No 1 man at 140lb, before moving up to welterweight.'

First things first. Having reacted with excitement to becoming world champion again, Khan said: 'Now I must focus on Garcia.'

Sensible, for him to plant those quick feet firmly back on the ground before – as it is so pertinent to say at this moment – he tests the water of a higher division inhabited by Mayweather and Pacquiao, the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.