By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN says he still has star quality. Bolton’s former world light-welterweight champion is back in the mix after stopping unbeaten Carlos Molina on December 15th in Los Angeles. Khan, 26, still has over 1.2million Twitter followers and claims he is even more popular since his controversial points defeat to Lamont Peterson a year ago and fourth-round stoppage loss to Danny Garcia in July.
There has also been controversy outside the ring for Khan and his fiancée Faryal Makhdoom to deal with, with regular updates about his private life in the media.
But he said: “I think the popularity is always going to be there because people want to know what I’m up to.
“I think in the last year my Twitter followers have gone up by several hundred thousand.
“It’s not got to me one bit because I’ve been so focused. In a way it’s made me work harder because it’s made me go back to the drawing board and change a lot of things in my life.
“One of the things I changed was trainers and where I lived and trained. I’ve had to make some big decisions in my life and that’s what I did.”
Khan axed the man regarded as the world’s best trainer, Freddie Roach, for another American cornerman, Virgil Hunter. And he also says he has tightened his defense.
Khan said: “One of the main reasons I came to Virgil was because I think he is one of the best defensive trainers in the world. Before, I didn’t think. I just followed my heart and kept throwing punches. Once you do that you can get caught with blows. I’m being more smart about things and taking the right shots at the right time. That prevents me from getting hit or caught with silly shots and getting into wars when I don’t need to get into wars. I think part of it is just being smart now, not making mistakes. Even if you make it boring, a win is a win.”