Virgil Hunter on Angulo, Khan, Ward, Pacquiao, More

By Chris Robinson

This weekend is a very important one for respected trainer Virgil Hunter.

Known best for his work with super middleweight king Andre Ward, Hunter will be shifting his focus to two of his newest pupils, former two-time junior welterweight champion Amir Khan and junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo.

Eyes will be locked on Khan intently as he returns to the ring to face unbeaten lightweight prospect Carlos Molina inside of the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Saturday night. This is Khan’s first fight with Hunter as well as his return bout following a disastrous 4th round TKO loss at the hands of Danny Garcia in July.

Angulo is looking to build on the momentum he gained from dispatching Raul Casarez in under one round last month, as he will be meeting up with twice-beaten Jorge Silva on the Khan-Molina undercard. Immigration issues had seen Angulo spend seven months in a detention center in El Centro, Calif. and the 30-year old bruiser seems elated to be back on track.

Speaking with Hunter at length leading into the Khan-Molina bill, as evidenced in a Youtube video posted on Wednesday, we touched on several topics related to his personal career and the overall landscape of the sport.

Continue reading below for Hunter’s thoughts on connecting with Khan and Angulo, seeing Ward’s bout with Kelly Pavlik rescheduled, the 2013 return of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao’s future after his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, and much more.

A pleasure working with Alfredo Angulo…
“It’s been a pleasure. Because Alfredo, first and foremost. He’s a man. He knows what he wants to do and he knows where he wants to go. Working with him is a pleasure. The bar is set for him; right now he’s going to be competitive in any fight he’s in regardless of who he’s in with. Just knowing that right now, is a plus for us, to know that’s competitive with anybody at his weight class. I’m pleased.”

Why Angulo’s spirits never dropped while being locked up…
“After talking to Alfredo and sitting down, having dinner with him on several occasions, and just talking the way men talk. Just his life in general, the way he had to come up, prepared him to withstand whatever type of impression they were trying to put down on him over at this detention center. That didn’t rile him at all. I’m sure he had days when he wondered he would get out, but as far as them breaking him or damaging his confidence or his makeup as a man, I don’t see no indication of that at all.”

Bringing Amir Khan’s talents into harmony…
“Amir has tremendous gifts, a lot of gifts. It’s a task but also it’s a pleasurable task trying to bring these things all into harmony, where they are working on accord for him. I’m very excited about him too. He’s very coachable; he wants to pick up and learn. He wants to set the bar and I think the setbacks he’s had have been good for him at this stage of his career. You don’t want to see anybody lose a fight or get knocked out, but by him being young and beginning to understand his journey, I think we merged at the right time.”

What makes Khan so special…
“There’s a lot of things he does you can’t train for. There’s a lot things he does you can’t teach. If you can’t train for it, you can’t prepare for it. And some of the things he does, you can’t prepare for that; short of anybody willing to stand in there and take punches for him to try to get one through. We know what we have to overcome in this case, and that’s to be patient, to observe more of what he’s doing, to be more cerebral about what he’s doing. Slow things down, which actually makes him faster. It’s just some mental things that he had to understand, not even overcome. We’re reaching that. We’re getting there.”

Not worried about Andre Ward’s shoulder injury that resulted in the Kelly Pavlik match being rescheduled…
“It’s part of the game. Looking at the first week of March, it’s nothing serious. Just enough to where he needs therapy and stuff like that and he’ll be ready to go.”

The recent accolades Ward has received after a string of dominant performances…
“That’s the bar that we set and with his determination and ability, certainly it was quite achievable. But we appreciate the accolades that come from other people. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I think he and I have always agreed that we’ll look at it, honestly, in its proper perspective when he’s no longer fighting. Until then, we thank people for the accolades, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Manny Pacquiao’s horrific knockout loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez last weekend…
“It’s part of the game. People fight that many fights, at some point, somebody’s bound to get the other person’s number. They both might get the number, they both might have a better feel for each other. I think that [Marquez] was looking for the knockout the whole fight. I don’t think he was concerned about a decision. I think he was looking for a knockout and he was able to achieve that.”

Whether or not Pacquiao would be best to retire from boxing…
“Hard to say. The fight is only a week old. It would be hard to say. It certainly wouldn’t be my call. I’ve never been in that position before, to have a fighter at that age, come off a loss of that magnitude. I think Freddie Roach would probably know more about that than anybody. I certainly wouldn’t know. I would think that he wouldn’t want to lose another fight like that. But he’s a fighter, so he’s probably going to keep going on. He has what it takes to overcome it and turn it around, so why not give it a chance?”

Freddie Roach’s mindset after suffering a rough 2012…
“He’s a coach, you know. When you go into the coaching business, you understand that you have highs and low and peaks and valleys. You have the seasons of plenty and the years of lean. As long as he understands that, I’m sure he can adapt accordingly. He’s had a fantastic ride, he’s had great success. And that’s not to say that he won’t experience that again. I’m sure he knows how to deal with it; I’m sure he understands that your luck and all the accolades people give you can turn around in one fight. That’s just the nature of the people reporting the fights. I wish him well. He’s a great coach and there’s no other place for him to be than at the top and I’m sure he’ll be there.”

Floyd Mayweather’s 2013 lineup, with bouts scheduled for May and September, with Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez in the running…
“It would be good to see him back. It would be good to see those fights, see how they turn out. I don’t have anybody in particular that I would choose to win those fights, but it would be good to see him back and good to see him involved in those fights.”

The threat of Guerrero to Mayweather…
“Anytime you step into the ring, you pose problems to the other guy until he sets the record straight and defuses that. Quite certainly, going into that fight, he could certainly pose a problem to Mayweather.”

Wanting to see more of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez…
“I don’t know that much about Canelo until he actually fights the competition I think a champion should fight. From what I see, he’s a heck of a specimen, that’s for sure. Great explosiveness, great power; seems to be a student of the game. I think he’s anxious to step out of that area that they’ve had him in for a while. They’ve had him fight smaller guys and older guys. I think he’s ready for the challenge and you have to respect him for that. I’d be anxious to see how he stands up against the very best that the division has to offer.”

*** For more exclusive coverage from Tuesday's media day , including Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo, and Deontay Wilder on the mitts plus exclusive intrerviews with Virgil Hunter, Oscar De La Hoya, Mares, Khan, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and more, please visit Chris Robinson's  Amir Khan vs. Carlos Molina Fight Week Directory

*** For more exclusives from the boxing world please visit  and  SUBSCRIBE  to Chris Robinson's   CRHarmony Youtube Page   and visit more of his exclusives below...
Chris Robinson can be reached at [email protected]
Tags: Virgil Hunter image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Overhandrite71 on 12-14-2012

[QUOTE=Nacho_Analstain;12813105]Why does Virgil sound so much like a sex offender? I watched a 20 minute interview with him and I felt like I had just been groomed.[/QUOTE] I dont normally reply,but I had to say something.whoever u are u must…

Comment by Elvizzz on 12-14-2012

I have tons of respect for Virgil as a trainerh, but I really dislikes his personality.... But I guess its just part of the game...

Comment by 110110110 on 12-14-2012

[QUOTE=Nacho_Analstain;12813105]Why does Virgil sound so much like a sex offender? I watched a 20 minute interview with him and I felt like I had just been groomed.[/QUOTE] Mr Analstain, I am sure you know that it takes one to know…

Comment by Nacho_Analstain on 12-14-2012

Why does Virgil sound so much like a sex offender? I watched a 20 minute interview with him and I felt like I had just been groomed.

Comment by toshmurph on 12-14-2012

Canelo vs Angulo!! War El Perro

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
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