Amir Khan wants to keep on doing what he was born to do and has been doing for, really, most of his life.
Khan is 32, not old, but in fight years, after having been stopped by Canelo Alvarez and then having the plug pulled on him against Terence Crawford in his latest outing, we can surmise that maybe his best days are behind him.
But he’s a proud vet, he soldiers on, and he does so having made and continuing to make adaptations to age, and to the damage done to his psyche. Khan, after all, endured a shitstorm on social media after he was hit low by Bud at MSG and then didn’t indicate he wanted to fullfill that unstated contract, to keep on fighting to the point of going on on his shield.
Easy for us to say, comfy and cozy with our ithchy Twitter fingers, from the sofa safe zone...But it wasn’t his best look.
Khan fights on, and is slated to glove up July 12, in Saudia Arabia, against an 11-3-2 guy, one Neeraj Goyat, from India.
One of those adaptations we referred to is a trainer change; Virgil Hunter, who helped Khan get that early exit in NYC, and in is Clarence Adams.
Or, as maybe you know him, “Bones” Adams, a retired boxer turned trainer who was mre than fair in his day, and ended with a 44-7-4 record, in 2010. This Kentucky native came of age in Detroit and held a world crown at super bantamweight, for the record.
I asked Adams to talk about how him and Khan got together, and what he thinks Amir has left, on Facebook messenger. Adams was in England. “Staying here till the end of the month then to Saudi,” he told me.
Oh, first, how about we clear up a lil somethin.’ “Bones”…how’d he get that nickname, anyway?
“I was really skinny as a child and hated the name Clarence, still do,” said the tutor, who turns 45 on July 6. “And when I started boxing at age 5 people were saying I’m just skin and bones. I liked ‘Bones’ so I stayed with it. Funny, I tried doing a legal name change and got denied. No one gets denied what the would want to be called. It seems only me!”
Noted! Hagler got “Marvelous” through, so I have no idea why “Bones” didn’t fly. That aside…how did Adams and Khan come together?
“We met years ago at my gym. But, Alex Ariza is the one who got us together. Amir wanted Alex back and ask Alex if he knows any good trainers. Alex suggested me,” Adams shared. “Right now, I’m at the hotel, Amir is at his house. When we first came together, we just caught up, small talk. Then had the press conference.”
As a fighter, Adams had a couple different trainers himself…
“Of course I got set up with trainers. What are fighters looking for when they do the switch? Something new! Looking for things that make sense to them. Things they can relate to, and how to improve the mistakes they are doing.”
By the way, Gorat is managed by David McWater, who manages Teofimo Lopez; I asked the manager to tell me a bit about the underdog. “He’s a good kid, he’s a good fighter, he’s slick, very smart guy…he really wanted this fight,” McWater told me. “He’s sort of the Ryan Garcia of India, he travels in Bollywood circles, has a pretty massive social media following.”
And back to Bones…is he able to get a sense of where Khan is now, how much the vet, who turned pro in 2005, has left?
“We are doing very well together. You know, it’s still kinda early for me to tell, but it’s up to him. I’m very confident in what I do, and if he would do what I want he definitely has a couple years left. Yes, if he wants it and he seems to want it, he does have awhile left.”