Khan-Alexander Also Friendly Rivalry Between Trainers

By Jake Donovan

The upcoming welterweight showdown between Amir Khan and Devon Alexander is an interesting pairing, one that has been in the works for more than a year. When the two collide this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, there will also be another battle taking place—one between their respective cornermen, Virgil Hunter and Kevin Cunningham.

Khan and Hunter will be working together for the fourth time heading into this weekend’s bout, while Alexander has spent his entire boxing life under Cunningham’s tutelage. Neither side is viewed as having the advantage in terms of chemistry, especially as well as Hunter and Cunningham know each other. The two formed a friendship from when they both first began training fighters, and continue to respect the other’s work to this very day.

Come Saturday evening, one will have to outthink the other, although neither will take it personal.

“Kevin and I knew years ago when we were developing fighters from scratch… we knew these days were coming,” Hunter says of the realization of one day facing Cunningham in the opposite corner. “There’s always a measuring stick in this sport. Devon Alexander is a tremendous measuring stick. It will never be personal. We have to block it out, and we have to tend to the business at hand.”

Both equally respect the other and what they’ve accomplished in the sport. Cunningham has also successfully guided Cory Spinks to title reigns in two weight classes, including the World lineal welterweight champion early in the 2000’s. Hunter is best known for guiding 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward to the top of the super middleweight heap, where he remains although having not fought for more than a year.

Alexander (26-2, 14KOs) is now a full year removed from his 14-month stay as a welterweight titlist, although the St. Louis native insists the best is yet to come. Questions remain whether Khan – a former 140 lb. titlist who moved up to welterweight earlier this year – can reclaim past glory when he was hailed as one of the very best fighters in the world.

The Alexander side is certainly expecting that version on Saturday. Unlike his counterpart, Cunningham sees an added incentive in his fighter scoring a win.

“We prepared for Amir Khan, the best Amir Khan that can show up on Saturday. He looks improved since he’s hooked up with Virgil Hunter,” Cunningham says, giving his friend and colleague full respect—with a twist. “The fact that Virgil Hunter is his trainer and that Virgil is also a good friend of mine, it really gets my juices going.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by jacksonrr on 12-09-2014

[QUOTE=thack;15171090]Didn't he give Hatton the blueprint as well ! He would have to give Khan a gun and we all know the only thing Khan would do is as he always does shoot himself in the foot ! All these…

Comment by yoz on 12-09-2014

[QUOTE=wlliam;15170260]Oscar-"im going to push a khan/floyd fight and ill give Khan the blueprint"[/QUOTE] [QUOTE=thack;15171090]Didn't he give Hatton the blueprint as well ! He would have to give Khan a gun and we all know the only thing Khan would do…

Comment by thack on 12-09-2014

[QUOTE=wlliam;15170260]Oscar-"im going to push a khan/floyd fight and ill give Khan the blueprint"[/QUOTE] Didn't he give Hatton the blueprint as well ! He would have to give Khan a gun and we all know the only thing Khan would do…

Comment by Young Money on 12-08-2014

Battle of the trainers that love to hear themselves talk.

Comment by wlliam on 12-08-2014

Oscar-"im going to push a khan/floyd fight and ill give Khan the blueprint"

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Pacquiao: Matthysse Was Hurt From The Punches, Looked Scared Pacquiao Says Buboy Warned Him To Avoid 'Marquez' Mistakes Jose Pedraza Expects a Very Tough Outing With Ray Beltran Manny Pacquiao: Do I Look Old? I'm Back! Lucas Matthysse is Not Sure About The Future of His Career Usyk: I Have No Fear of Fighting Murat Gassiev in Russia Jeff Horn Calls Out Manny Pacquiao For a Rematch Pacquiao: From Round 1, I Knew He Couldn't Handle My Power! Brandon Cook: Brook Fight is Off, Brook Has Ankle Injury Pacquiao Gives High Praise To Buboy as New Head Trainer RBF Exec: We Secured QF/SF Fights For The WBSS Season 2 Pacquiao: Like I Said - I'm Not Gone From Boxing, I'm Still Here! Photos: Pacquiao Crushes Matthysse For First KO Win Since 09 Photos: Regis Prograis Breaks Down Velasco For TKO, WBSS Slot Photos: Teofimo Lopez Beats Down, Stops William Silva Rocky Fielding: I'd Love An ECHO Arena Defense of WBA Title Philippines Prez Wants Pacquiao To Retire on Back of Big Win Matthysse: My Head is Raised, I Lost To a Legend in Pacquiao Manny Pacquiao: It Was a Long Time Ago Since I've Done That! Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse - CompuBox Punch Stats Pacquiao Knocks Matthysse Out in Seventh For WBA Belt Pacquiao vs. Matthysse - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jhack Tepora Drops, Stops Edivaldo Ortega in Ninth Round Canizales KOs Bin in 12th Round, Retains Light Flyweight Title Mthalane Gets Off The Floor To Edge Waseem For IBF Title Regis Prograis Stops Juan Jose Velasco, Secures WBSS Spot Regis Prograis vs. Juan Jose Velasco - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Teofimo Lopez Drops Silva Three Times, Knocks Him Out In Sixth Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse: Stats & Stakes Velasco: Pressure's On Prograis; I'll Prove the Experts Wrong Rocky Fielding Blasts Out Tyron Zeuge in Five, Wins WBA Title Prograis-Velasco Undercard Results From New Orleans Zach Parker Gets Points Triumph In Germany, Moves To 16-0 Pacquiao's Last 6 Fights vs. Previous 10 - CompuBox Review RBF Exec Slams Usyk's Manager Over WBSS Event Comments Regis Prograis vs. Juan Jose Velasco - CompuBox Historical Review Lucas Matthysse's Last 8 Fights - CompuBox Historical Review Frank Warren Breaks Down Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse Teofimo Lopez: Silva Knows What's Coming, I'll Look Good Regis Prograis is 'Super Excited' To Return Before Home Crowd

Latest Active Forum Threads