Khan To Fight Arthur in 2009?
By Dave Lahr: On this weeks’ Bunce’s Boxing Hour show, it was learned that former WBO super featherweight champion Alex Arthur (26-2, 19 KOs) may be facing lightweight contender Amir Khan (19-1, 15 KOs) sometime in 2009. Both fighters are promoted by Frank Warren and are coming off of recent losses.
In Khan’s case, the 22-year-old was flatted in the 1st round in September by Columbian knockout artist Breidis Prescott. Khan has fought once since then, beating an overmatched Oisin Fagan in a 2nd round TKO on December 6th. Arthur, 30, was outclassed by Nicky Cook, losing a 12-round unanimous decision on September 6th, and losing his WBO super featherweight title in the process, unfortunately.
Khan, an Olympic Silver Medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, had shown a lot of promise since turning professional in 2005, winning his first 18 fights, with 14 of them by knockout. Thought to be nearly ready to challenge for a lightweight title against Nate Campbell, Khan was put in against Prescott, a fighter with a lot of power but with a lot of flaws as well.
It was thought that Khan would have far too much skill for the limited but tough Prescott and would be able to outbox him for a decision. The last thing that people expected from Khan was to try and mix it up with Prescott, if only because Khan had already shown to have chin problems, getting knocked down by Willie Limond and Michael Gomez.
So instead of trying to box Prescott, Khan went right after him in the 1st round and was almost immediately staggered by a simple jab from Prescott. A moment later, Prescott tagged Khan with a tremendous left hook, hurting Khan and causing both of his legs to go rubbery.
Prescott them dropped him with a right hand followed by another big left hook to the head. Khan hit the canvas hard and after several moments, he got up and tried to continue fighting. However, Khan was sent down once again after running into another big left hook from Prescott. This time the fight was stopped for good.
Before losing to Cook, Arthur had beaten a string of excellent fighters, beating Ricky Burns, Sergey Gulyakevich, Koba Gogoladze and Stephen Foster. Despite the good wins, in which Arthur had showed good right hand power, his defense seemed to be badly flawed as he was getting hit quite frequently in his fights, making them much closer than they should have been.
In facing Cook, Arthur met up with a fighter with better overall ability and he couldn’t just bowl him over with right hands like he had his prior opponents. Cook was too fast, and used the ring to prevent Arthur from trapping him. At the same time, Cook used speedy combinations and jabs to pile up the points and win round after round. In the end, Arthur just didn’t have the ability to compete with Cook and ended up losing by a 12-round decision.
Khan, as weak as his chin is, probably has too much speed for Arthur to handle. Khan isn’t about to try and mix it up with a hard puncher like Arthur, so the fight would probably end up with Khan moving a lot and jabbing the much slower Arthur from the outside. Eventually, I see Khan taking Arthur out after hurting him with a flurry late in the fight.