Amir Khan has pressed trainer Joe Goossen into service to work with him for his upcoming fight because of the health issues that Virgil Hunter, his usual trainer, is experiencing.Former unified junior welterweight world titlist Khan is training for his first fight in nearly two years, a welterweight bout with Phil Lo Greco on April 21 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
Khan had been training with Hunter in his Oakland, California-area gym, but Hunter experienced undisclosed health issues earlier this month. If you’re not familiar with Joe Goosen, he was the trainer of Diego Corrales, Michael Nunn and more recently John Molina.
On March 17, Hunter spokeswoman Julie Goldsticker issued a statement on Hunter’s health.
“Virgil Hunter experienced a health scare this week and was hospitalized,” she said in the statement. “We are happy to report that he is recovering and getting stronger every day. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and request that his privacy be respected while he recovers. There will not be any further statements made at this time as we allow him to heal.”
Here’s what Joe Goossen had to say about being the head man now in Khan’s corner.
“I got a call last week from Amir Khan and he requested to have me come up there to see how we jell and we jelled just perfectly,” said Goossen during an interview with BoxingScene on Sunday. “I spent a week up in San Francisco training him and I just got back yesterday from San Francisco and I leave tomorrow for England.”
“We’ll do a month there, we knocked out a great week on the floor and we’ll start sparring and obviously do more work up until the fight on the 21st in the United Kingdom,” said Goossen.
In his first fight since signing with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), 31, of England, is returning to the ring for the first time since he jumped up two weight classes from welterweight to challenge then-middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez for his title in May 2016 in Las Vegas. Although Khan boxed and moved well in the early going, he eventually suffered a devastating sixth-round knockout loss and has not fought since.