Khan to vacate his WBA title Rather than Facing Maidana?
By Scott Gilfoid: According to the latest news from Boxing Monthly, there is talk that World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan (21-1, 15 KO’s) will vacate his WBA title if he’s forced by the WBA to fight interim champion Marcos Maidana (26-1, 25 KO’s). How come I’m not surprised? Apparently, Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t want Khan to fight Maidana next, and prefers to go after better (easier) opponents like Erik Morales instead.
It looks as if Roach and Khan want to milk the WBA title for as long as they can before Khan is forced to vacate rather than take on a dangerous puncher like Maidana. Khan has had problems in the past when facing fighters with decent power and has had huge problems when facing an opponent with excellent power, losing by a 1st round knockout to Breidis Prescott last year.
Khan moved up in weight recently from the lightweight division to go after Andriy Kotelnik’s WBA light welterweight title. It was the perfect opponent for the weak chinned Khan. Not only did Khan get a fighter with almost zero power, but he also got an opponent with poor movement and slow hand speed.
Many people predicted after that Khan would cherry pick opponents while a champion, fighting the easier opponents with little power until eventually vacating the title once faced with the prospects of fighting a puncher like Maidana or Victor Ortiz. But, it looks as if Khan will be ducking Maidana.
I didn’t think that Khan would go after an old timer like Erik Morales. He hasn’t fought in two years and has lost four out of his last five bouts. That would be a terrible opponent for Khan to fight and would make him look like a bottom feeder. Khan has already fought another old timer Marco Antonio Barrera in March, and beaten him under questionable circumstances due to a head butt that occurred early in the fight.
But now to face another old guy like Morales, it would make it look like Khan is afraid of fighting quality fighters. This kind of thing can be overlooked by boxing fans if it happens in between fights against top level opponents, but Khan has been overly protected during his four year pro career and has only fought one fighter I can consider to be quality in the way of Breidis Prescott.
Khan won’t be doing anything to make himself look like a legitimate fighter if he keeps looking for over the hill or weak punchers to fight. Roach obviously knows what he’s doing and realizes that he has a fighter with a glass chin that needs to be protected. But it’s not good for the sport to have a champion ducking quality opponents, taking on older timers and then vacating once he had a good opponent.
I suppose once Khan has vacated his title, he’ll be free to go after other easy marks out there with little punch or those who are just plain punch drunk. If the boxing public can stomach watching Khan fight old timers and easy marks, then it’s all good for Khan. Let the money roll in.
There’s a sucker born every minute. However, Khan forget about establishing any credibility with boxing fans. You can forget about Maidana and you can forget about unification bouts against Bradley. That isn’t going to happen.
Khan will probably remain popular no matter whom he fights against because the causal boxing fans have no knowledge at all about the sport and if they see a flashy fighter liken khan wiping out older fighter like Morales, they will eat it up as if Morales is still a top fighter.
As long as the television analysts don’t mention what Khan is doing in facing older fighters, the ignorant boxing fans will think he’s the real deal. It’s kind of like Oscar De La Hoya at the end of his career. Many boxing fans didn’t even know that De La Hoya was no longer a champion and were still flocking to see his fights even though he was losing almost all of them by this point in his career.
The choice of Morales obviously is being made to improve Khan’s status in the U.S. Morales is well known in the United States, so if Khan is seen beating Morales up, it will raise the image of Khan among the casual fan base. Morales, who has fought most of his career at super bantamweight and featherweight, will be way out of his league against the much heavier and younger Khan and will end up losing badly.
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