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Virgil Hunter calls on Amir Khan to commit to training between fight camps

Trainer Virgil Hunter has dismissed calls for his boxer Amir Khan to retire, saying he would give the Bolton speedster “the benefit of the doubt”.

But the American coach criticised the 32-year-old former junior welterweight champion for his lack of training between fights, saying his skills deteriorate when he is away from the gym.

Khan 33-5 (20) was accused of quitting in his last bout against WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford when his corner withdrew him from the fight in the sixth round after receiving a low blow.

“I would like to see him commit to many training camps in between fights and to work on his weaknesses before he makes that final decision to really see if his skills are gone, or if he is just letting them lay in a pile and deteriorate slowly,” Hunter told the BBC.

“He never has practice in between fights. He trains hard for 10 weeks but it’s not enough.”

After being stopped in six rounds by middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 2016, Khan took almost two years off before returning in 2018 with an early stoppage win against overmatched Phil Lo Greco and a lacklustre 12-round decision over Samuel Vargas.

“There’s little things that he does that cause him to be out of sync,” added Hunter. “His timing is off. His distance is not where it should be. He doesn’t have a sense of range and distance and those things are not due to age. That’s from practice.

“His hand speed is still there but his sense of distance and range is not there and that’s what he needs to work on.”

Khan is holding out hope for a big domestic clash with rival Kell Brook.