By Steve Kim
This weekend, former world champion Amir Khan makes his second start under the tutelage of trainer, Joe Goossen, as he faces Samuel Vargas in Birmingham.
Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) returned to the ring back in April, and blew away Phil Lo Greoc in 39 seconds of the very first round.
Should Khan put forth a dominant outing this Saturday, he just might be ready to step up his level of competition.
"I'll probably make that assessment after the fight,"said Goossen, a couple of weeks ago at his Ten Goose Gym in Van Nuys, California, before his days work with Khan.
"Knowing how we've trained and what he's put into this, with the drills and the skills he possesses and the running we've done, the calisthenics, the fitness program, everything involved leads me to a very positive conclusion of where we're going to be after this fight.
"That being said, yes, I believe these two fights would enable him to step up his opponents if they're presented to us."
After a long-time union with Virgil Hunter, Khan was in need of a trainer after Hunter fell ill.
Several weeks before his scheduled bout with Lo Greco in April, he dialed up Goossen and the two quickly meshed. Khan stopped LeGreco in one round and now he faces Vargas.
There is talk that Khan is in the running to face WBA "regular" welterweight champion and former sparring partner Manny Pacquiao in the winter and there is chatter about a showdown with his long time nemesis, former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook.
Goossen makes it clear that he's only the trainer but added,"with the way I believe it's going to go, yeah, he'd be ready to take on anybody at the top."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.