Amir Khan’t Lose
By Rob Blakeman: In a mysterious career Amir Khan appears to have secured a multimillion dollar payday with a fight against boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. How can he possibly deserve this chance? Well, Khan began life as a decent fighter securing a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics.
From then on the media spotlight, ably assisted by first manager Frank Warren, has followed his every move. The new Golden boy of British Boxing talked a great fighting career and legendary status. Soon, however, the hype was exploded as Khan was blasted out cold in one round by unknown Breidis Prescott. Warren then by brought over aging superstar Marco Barrera – well past his prime for Khan to look good against. Furthermore, Warren helped Khan see the depth of talent in the lightweight division at that time that included Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan ‘Baby Bull’ Diaz, Michael Katsidis, Joel Casamayor-all of whom would have probably beaten Khan and so he moved up to light welter-and within two fights against easy opposition (Old Barrera and Oisin Fagin?!?!?) just two fights after being knocked spark out, Khan got a World Title fight against a champion who could have been handpicked for him. Andriy Kotelnik went the distance but could not handle Khan’s hand speed and lost a unanimous decision. Khan by now had convinced many but mainly himself that he was the second coming. With a confidence that transcended merely grandiose delusions into a full blown Messiah complex we heard how he would skip through the weight divisions, wiping out all in his path (while still avoiding offers of a rematch with conqueror Prescott like the plague).
To cut a long delusory story short, the truth was more defeats followed. Smaller, so called none-puncher and virtually unknown Lamont Peterson bullied khan around the ring and had him warned by the referee for cheating multiple times just to stay in the fight. Next, crude, throwback fighter Danny Garcia who practically telegraphs every punch he throws still managed to find Khans chandelier-like jaw more than once. Then, finally in his last fight against tiny blown up lightweight fighter Julio Diaz Khan again visited the canvas in the fourth round and looked very shaky in going the distance. He then ducked out of a fight with dangerous Devon Alexander on the judgement of his advisors who knew another knockout could only further embarrass them when Khan’s name was finally mentioned in the same sentence as Mayweather’s with a look to a fight. Khan still has the nerve to carry the moniker ‘King’ in his name-go figure.
How can Manny Pacquiao not be a credible opponent for Floyd while Khan with his questionable chin gets a shot? The answer of course is that’s boxing. You don’t get the fights you deserve but the one’s you can negotiate. So what now for Khan? Sadly win or lose he will never be remembered fondly. A continual list of graceless excuses fall from his lips every time he has been beaten (all by none-name fighters) We live in a culture of ‘entitlement’ Where many people with the talent of a boiled potato enter American Idol and sincerely think they should have a career regardless of ability. Khan is at least the King of that culture as we will all witness when journalists no doubt will ask him if he deserves this chance.
So what about legacy? How will Khan be remembered? Let’s compare him with say Shane Mosley, a true great if ever there was one. Shane fought everyone. Like a real champion of pedigree Shane was unbeaten in his first 38 Professional fights. Fighting all legitimate challengers he then fought Vernon Forrest who had beaten him in the amateurs and he was beaten again but still took the rematch. A couple of years on and the King of the ‘Who Needs Him’ club was a talented fighter called Winky Wright-he was avoided like the plague! Shane took him on lost and took him on again. Still he had already fought and beaten De La Hoya in his prime, Britain’s unbeaten Adrian Stone and would go on to beat Fernando Vargas, Luis Collazo, and Ricardo Mayorga. Then, when monstrous World Class Welter weight fighter Antonio Margerito battered the unbeaten Miguel Cotto and looked pretty indestructible while doing so every-one looked the other way. No one wanted to fight new World Welter Champion Margarito. Not De LaHoya, not Joshua Clottey, nor Andre Berto nor Judah nor Luis Collazo-not even Carlos Baldomir would rise to the challenge. What happened? Mosley stepped in and against all odds wiped the floor with the Mexican. That’s what it takes to win World honours in 3 different weight divisions. That’s why he’s so loved and respected as his career comes to an end. Khan on the other hand will always be remembered for crying like a girl every time things didn’t go his way, coming up with endless excuses as to why he lost, his weight, the referee, his trainer, the officials, etc, etc, etc. Win or lose this fight he will forever be remembered for being a pretender with the luck of having gifted promoters and trainers who made him look much better than he ever could be. Shame on the boxing community if this fight happens when far better men deserve a shot at Floyd’s crown.