We Khan do it with Dougie, says Amir
FRESH from revitalising his own career this winter former world champion boxer Amir Khan has backed Dougie Freedman to do the same with his beloved Bolton.
Khan, who put his boxing career back on track with a comprehensive victory over Carlos Molina in mid-December, is a die-hard Trotter and regular at the Reebok when he’s not being put through his paces across the Pond.
Indeed the 26-year-old planned to attend Bolton’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day as he made the most of his time in the UK.
And while the defeat left Bolton eight points shy of the play-off places in 16th – and Freedman with just three wins since succeeding Owen Coyle in October – Khan believes the ex-Crystal Palace boss remains the right man.
“Dougie Freedman is a good manager, but I think he’s going to need time to work with the team and see what their weaknesses are and how he can aim to improve with them,” he said.
“But I think with him coming in it will be a massive help. I felt Owen Coyle did a great job as well, but I think Dougie is the right man and the better choice now and he will do well with the team.
“I think that this season it will be difficult to get straight back up into the Premier League from the position we are in at the moment, but maybe next season.
“We have a great team and a great stadium and I think we just need that great manager to take us all the way to the top.”
Khan’s bout with Molina was effectively win or bust, having been defeated on his previous two trips to the USA, losing out to both Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. But having got his victory, Khan says he’s back on track.
“The last two times I have been to America I didn’t get the result that I wanted.We’ve made a lot of changes and it’s always great to come back as a winner,” he added.
“There was a lot of pressure on me, because I saw it as if I didn’t win there wouldn’t be any more big fights coming my way, but now hopefully we can carry on and get me towards Garcia again.
“It is all about taking my time, my new trainer is amazing, Virgil Hunter has changed a lot boxing-wise, basically not trying to rush in there, but trying to use my brain and picking the right shots at the right time, not making any mistakes.
“It is going to take time, and after being with Virgil, I know in some of the last fights I did get a little bit frustrated and try and get into a fight, but I’m trying to take the instructions on board and as time goes on it will get better and better.
“But overall I’m happy to be back over Christmas and New Year.”
STRIKER: Amir Khan beating Carlos Molina before Christmas. Inset: Khan at the Reebok