By Rick Reeno
Virgil Hunter, the trainer of welterweight contender Amir Khan, reached out to BoxingScene.com to clear the air on some recent statements that were made by Kevin Cunningham, the manager and trainer of IBF champion Devon Alexander.
During a recent interview, Cunningham told BoxingScene that Khan’s decision to bring in another coach to work the mitts was a sign of disrespect to Hunter. Khan is using “Coach Rick” Coward for his mitt work routines in training camp. Discussions are ongoing to finalize a fight between Khan and Alexander for December 7th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
"Khan continues to disrespect great trainers. He blamed [Freddie] Roach for his losses and now he brings in a Roger Mayweather copycat trainer to do mitts. So I guess he's saying Virgil Hunter's mitt work isn't good enough," Cunningham told BoxingScene.com.
However, Hunter indicates that he welcomed, and personally approved, the addition of Coward.
"[Khan] is being portrayed in a certain way and he's not that way. I've known Coach Rick for a long time. Kevin thought Amir was disrespecting me and he wasn't. From day one, Amir and his team have shown me nothing but respect and I appreciate that. Of course, I don't have tolerance for disrespect and that wouldn't happen. There are some misconceptions about the kid because he's young and he can say some things when a microphone is put in his face. I've gotten to know him and I'm letting the public know that Amir is not calling shots in camp,” Hunter told BoxingScene.com.
"This is something that I'm in favor for. I wanted it to happen; because you could always use another coach. Rick has never developed a fighter of his own, but he loves boxing and I think he even did amateur boxing, and he wants to work and learn in an understudy position. He is an honest man and I like him and he follows my instructions. And I really like working with Amir; he is highly coachable and does everything that you ask him to do."