Khan vs Vargas: Trainer Joe Goossen explains the impact of Amir Khan's speed and open-minded approach
Goossen on how he teamed up with Khan and how he can improve the 31-year-old former world champion
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 05/09/18 3:46pm
Trainer Joe Goossen admits Amir Khan is the fastest fighter he has ever seen but believes he can still make him even better.
The renowned American will be in 'King' Khan's corner for the second time on Saturday night, when they take on Colombian Samuel Vargas, at the Arena Birmingham, live on Sky Sports.
Goossen has had his first full camp with the British star and while he has been impressed with the 31-year-old's "open-mind" approach to the new partnership, his pure speed has left his latest trainer stunned.
I had Joel Casamayor, the Puerta Rican, Michael Nunn was an Olympian as well. I worked with Shane Mosley, who is extremely fast, but Amir is the fastest I've ever seen.
"I've had, over the decades, some that are considered the quickest-handed guys in the business, but I haven't had anybody faster with their hands than Amir Khan. Never," he exclusively told Sky Sports.
"I had Joel Casamayor, the Puerta Rican, Michael Nunn was an Olympian as well. I worked with Shane Mosley, who is extremely fast, but Amir is the fastest I've ever seen.
"Diego Corrales could throw a triple left hook in a blink - or a planked second as we call it - and he was an unbelievable short, quick puncher, but overall speed of hand I've never seen anyone quicker. I had Mike Weaver, the heavyweight, who had brothers that were triplets - Lloyd, Floyd and Troy - and the some of the quickest guys I ever saw, but not as fast as Amir.
"It's hard keeping track on what their hands are doing. It goes on and on, I have told everyone this - I even told my wife, that's how amazed I was. I've been with her for over 40 years so she knows a lot more about boxing than a lot of people I know.
"Without a doubt, Amir has the fastest hands out of anyone I have ever worked for and I've been around for a long time."
Goossen is best known for guiding the late Corrales to world title success and an unforgettable showdown with Jose Luis Castillo, just shy of 15 years ago.
The Californian coach was behind former heavyweight supremo Riddick Bowe's comeback shortly after, and has also linked up with the likes of Mosley, 'Chico' opponent Casamayor and Edison Miranda, midway through their illustrious careers.
Khan was the next to call on his experience following the illness sustained by compatriot Virgil Hunter ahead of the welterweight's return to a British ring, against Phil Lo Greco, in April.
It took the Bolton star less than 40 seconds to get back to winning ways following his catchweight gamble against middleweight maestro Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez back in 2016, and to join that illustrious list of Goossen charges.
The top guys I have had - and the champions - have always had an open mind; especially if you come with some credibility, some background and experience. They are 99, maybe 100 per cent of the time, open to what you have to say. The great ones are always open and Amir's no different.
"I think we just clicked straight away. Of course, I had seen and heard of Amir Khan, and mutual friends thought we would work well together and there is only one way to find out," he said.
"Amir probably had a couple of second thoughts because I did come in with a head of steam. I knew we only had five weeks (before the Lo Greco fight) and I wanted to show Amir what I am about and how I do things. It wasn't that he had a light session at all for his first workout."
Khan has already worked with Hunter, Jorge Rubio and the Hall of Famer, Freddie Roach, but even he admits Goossen is the toughest trainer he has worked with and even after winning an Olympic silver medal, a world title and taking on some of American's best names in a stellar 13-year, 36-fight professional career, he is still learning.
"The top guys I have had - and the champions - have always had an open mind; especially if you come with some credibility, some background and experience. They are 99, maybe 100 per cent of the time, open to what you have to say.
"I know when I got Diego, he was open to it and it helped us. The great ones are always open and Amir's no different.
"I agree with the old adage and you can't teach an old dog new tricks in a sense, but we are not talking about old people or dogs, we are talking about a young man who is a tremendous athlete, that has shown his adaptability at a very young age to this sport.
"He's a quick study, as we say, and you want to show him things that, I say, would work hand-in-glove with his style. You don't turn a Pernell Whittaker into Mike Tyson. What you do is, you try to find enough things that will enhance Amir's style without totally going outside the box. It doesn't make any sense.
"Whatever it is it's got to be conducive to his athletic abilities - and he is so teachable that if 50 per cent of the new stuff I've been working on sticks, I'd be a real happy camper.
"I told Amir 'we have to strive for perfection'. At least you have to strive for it, but who is going to be perfect? The greatest fighters still get hit, but you still have to strive for perfection on your defence, slipping, leaning, parrying punches, blocking punches, weaving punches.
"We work on all of the above and if just some of it sticks, then great."
Watch Amir Khan against Samuel Vargas, from the Arena Birmingham, on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm.