Will Khan face Casamayor next?
By Sean McDaniel: World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan (23-1, 22 KO’s) has been saying that he wants to fight Michael Katsidis, Marcos Maidana or Joel Casamayor next. However, it’s starting to look like Khan may end up with only one choice of those three for his next fight on July 31st. Khan would prefer to fight Katsidis and Maidana, both popular fighters among boxing fans. But Khan might have to settle for fighting 38-year-old former WBC lightweight champion Casamayor instead.
The reason is because Maidana has a back injury and there’s almost next to no chance for it to be healed by the time that Khan wants to fight again. Maidana wants to fight Khan, and has wanted to for a long time. However, it’s looking like Maidana’s back injury won’t be healed in time for a fight against Khan in July. This leaves only Katsidis and Casamayor.
A fight against Katsidis probably won’t happen because he’s going to want to be paid well for a fight against the bigger junior welterweight Khan, and he might not get the big enough money offer to make it worth his while. Golden Boy Promotions, the promoters for Khan, will have to come up with a big enough number to make it worth Katsidis’ while for him to fight Khan, because he’s not going to take the fight for chickenfeed just to have the honor of fighting Khan.
My guess is Katsidis won’t get the offer he likes, so that fight probably won’t happen either. That leaves only Casamayor. I think Casamayor was a great fighter at one time in his career, but he’s really getting up there in age and will turn 39 in July. I know Khan and his promoters don’t have much time to hunt down another top fighter because they’re in a hurry to get an opponent, so this might be the best that they can do under the circumstances.
As far as I can tell, Victor Ortiz isn’t doing anything in July and I think he would be a much better opponent for Khan than the soon to be 39-year-old Casamayor. However, Ortiz is a southpaw, hits very hard and would have a really good chance of knocking Khan out. It’s doubtful that Golden Boy will want to match Khan against Ortiz right now and mess up a chance for Khan to become a potential mega star. They matched Khan up against the feather-fisted Paulie Malignaggi in his last fight in May.
So that tells me that they don’t want to take chances with Khan being knocked out again. I can’t even imagine Khan being allowed to go from Malignaggi’s light punches to a fighter like Ortiz, who can really punch. I don’t care if Khan beat Ortiz seven years while wearing headgear in the amateur ranks in four fights. This is seven years later, without headgear, against a much stronger fighter now. I don’t see Ortiz being picked for Khan.
Casamayor is who it will probably be and I guess that’s about the best we can hope for under the circumstances and the constraints. Casamayor isn’t a really popular fighter in the U.S., nor the UK, so I don’t know how this fight will do much in raising the popularity of Khan. Supposedly Khan wants to fight this bout in the UK and not the United States. If that’s the case, then I see Casamayor as being a bad choice for Khan. The British fans won’t be too familiar with Casamayor and won’t be nearly as interested in this fight compared to a fight against Katsidis. That’s the fight that Khan needs to make if he’s hunting smaller lightweights instead of fighters from his own weight class to fight.