Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion and British superstar Amir “King” Khan and unbeaten super lightweight contender Carlos Molina participated in a press conference Tuesday to formally announce Khan’s and Molina’s Saturday, Dec. 15 fight at the Los Angeles Sports Arena which will be broadcast live on Showtime. What ended up drawing the most attention, as depicted in this story by Kevin Iole of Yahoo, is that Khan seems to think that Freddie Roach is slipping as a result of his Parkinson’s. It’s a claim which Roach steadfastly denies. Take a look.
Here’s what Khan had to say about Freddie Roach:
It’s hard to see him older and getting worse. I wish him the best. Freddie, with the Parkinson’s disease, he was struggling with instructions and couldn’t move as well.
Roach responded with this:
If that was true, why would he say to me, ‘Fire Manny Pacquiao and Chavez Jr.’, and they’ll keep me? Him, his father, his lawyer and his uncle all said that. It had nothing to do with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s had nothing to do with it. They know that. And I wish them the best of luck.
Below, find the rest of the quotes and details on the Khan vs. Molina presser besides this little dust up with Roach.
“I’d like to thank the promoters for putting this fight together and Team Molina for taking the fight. I’m looking forward to fighting on SHOWTIME in the United States.
“I made some mistakes in my last fight, so I changed trainers and training camps. I am now in the Bay Area and I love it. There are no distractions. Sparring has been brilliant.
“I came to the States early so I could work on my technique. Virgil’s got me thinking more, but in a way that won’t get in the way when I fight. I know I have to keep thinking once the fight starts.
“I think Molina has a similar style to mine. He’s a pressure fighter and exciting to watch. We both want to win. I know he doesn’t want to lose his unbeaten record, and I want to show I’m back.
“This fight is in Molina’s backyard but I expect a lot of fans from England to be there. I believe I will win and get back to where I want to be.”
“I’m prepared for an all-out war. I want to thank Amir Khan for this great opportunity, but I have to say I think he’s made a big mistake. I’ve got a great team behind me including my trainer Clemente Medina and I’m fighting in my hometown. I can’t ask for anything more than that.
“Come December 15th, the only outcome I see is me remaining undefeated. We’re going to be ready for anything he brings to the table.
“Khan’s a good fighter, a fast fighter. He’s got a great jab and good footwork, but on fight night I’m going to be the dictator and he’s going to fight the way I want to fight. We’re going to shine.
“I think I have the power to knock him out. I don’t think I’ll do it in one punch. I don’t think I have one-punch power but if I hit a guy with three or four shots he will feel it.”
(On his ring-walk on Dec. 15)
“Just like Mike Tyson — focused and straight ahead. Nothing flashy.”
VIRGIL HUNTER (Khan’s Trainer)
“We’re going on our fourth week together and I couldn’t ask for anything better, or for a better situation to be in. Amir is easy to work with and easy to train. He has an open mind and is easy to communicate with.
“Everything has just been great so far.”
CLEMENTE MEDINA (Molina’s Trainer)
“We’ve had some great sparring. We know Amir Khan is considered the greater fighter, but we are hungrier right now, and that’s why we’ll win.
“We are training more with the legs because we know that we will have to move a lot. We’re training hard, like this is a championship fight.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA (President, Golden Boy Promotions)
“We’re very excited about this main event fight and to be back on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. We’re extremely fortunate to have Amir Kahn back in action against a tough local fighter in Carlos Molina.
“Once again, we will have an action-packed event. I’m proud and happy that SHOWTIME will televise this great fight card from the L.A. Sports Arena, which has a lot of great history. Danny “Little Red” Lopez fought “Schoolboy” Bobby Chacon in a great, great fight here. That fight, like Kahn against Molina matched youth vs. experience.
“It’s always great to do fights in Los Angeles and what better way than with Amir Kahn in the headliner. Amir is always entertaining, always on his game and always in great shape. He’s also always prepared to put on a great show and go 12 hard rounds.
“Amir’s been there and fought the best of the best and wants to prove he’s the No. 1 fighter pound-for-pound in the world.
“In Molina we have a fighter who comes to fight, has made a name for himself on the local scene in L.A. and has been on several high-profile cards.
“This is not an easy comeback fight for Kahn. He could have taken an easier fight, but once again he chose to fight a tough, unbeaten guy in his backyard. It shows what kind of character Amir has.
“With the December 15th event so close to Christmas, we here at Golden Boy Promotions decided to do a fanfest. Anyone with a ticket can participate in all the events leading up to the fights. It’s a family-friendly experience where fans will be able to get autographs and have photos taken with some of their most favorite fighters from around the world. It’s our way of saying thank you for all their continued support.”