Amir Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter claims he has had to “re-programme” him for Saturday’s showdown with Terence Crawford.
Hunter has had to start from scratch with Khan because he says he had forgotten much of what he taught him.
Khan was trained by Joe Goossen for his previous two fights when Hunter was ill last year and the American cornerman says concentration is his biggest problem.
“Focus is his main Achilles heel,” he said. “I used to tell him all the time, ‘I shouldn’t have to re-programme you every time you came back to camp’. I had to re-programme him when it should all have sunk in.
“He’s never been a student of the game. He goes to camp, he’s very coachable, he gives it his all, but you develop as a fighter in between fights.
“I used to encourage him to do mini-camps, but there was always some business he needed to do. Then he had to go somewhere, so there were always obstacles.
“Amir has a wandering mind in the gym if you don’t constantly give him the focus. He can be shadow boxing and his mind can be a million miles away.
“I had to bring all that back, but at this point, I have to say I’m pleased with his progress.”
Hunter has preached to Khan he needs to fight smarter as he gets older because he can no longer rely on his natural speed.
“I keep saying to him that the sky is the limit with his ability, but he can’t keep relying on his reflexes because that’s going to go,” he said.
“His physical ability is going to go, but his brain can make that up.
“You can have an output of two minutes of every round, you might go down to one minute 30 seconds. For the rest of the time, you have to compute what’s going on and control the situation. That comes with IQ.”
Hunter knows Khan must be fully switched on when he faces the unbeaten Crawford at Madison Square Garden and the three-weight champ is as skilled as they come.
Although a southpaw, Crawford is just as comfortable fighting orthodox and land shots from seemingly-impossible angles.
“Crawford can hurt you, he’s a sharp puncher,” said Hunter. “He can hit you with punches you can’t see.
“Amir has to be focused for every second of every round and he has to be prepared for anything Crawford may do, switching, southpaw. We’ve prepared him for everything.”
Amir Khan challenges Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight title, live on BT Sport Box Office, on Saturday. For more information go to www.bt.com/btsportboxoffice
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