Khan has a mandatory defense against Maidana next
By Sean McDaniel: World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan has the unfortunate luck to have a mandatory defense coming up next against the hard hitting Marcos Maidana. The thought here is that this is a great fight for Khan to show his talent to American audiences in the U.S. However, the big question is whether Khan will opt to fight Maidana – and risk being knocked flat like Amir was against Breidis Prescott in Khan’s 1st round knockout loss in September 2008, or will Khan choose to defend the title.
A lot of things have changed since Khan’s loss to Prescott. He has a new trainer in Freddie Roach, he takes for fewer chances offensively than he did back then, and he’s become much more defensively oriented. Still, it’s doubtful that even if Khan were to elect to run all night long from Maidana, which I expect him to do, that he’ll be able to keep getting clocked at some point in the fight.
Maidana is used to fight runners, and cuts off the ring well. Khan will actually have to meet fire with fire if he’s to get out of the Maidana fight in one piece. Victor Ortiz showed that Maidana is vulnerable if you come out throwing leather. I don’t know that Khan will want to take the chance to try and expose Maidana’s chin, though.
For him to do that, Khan will have to take some risks and be willing to take a big shot or two from Maidana. However, it’s unknown whether Khan will even choose to fight Maidana. He may elect to vacate the title and go for a weaker puncher instead like Paulie Malignaggi. Khan doesn’t need the WBA belt to make him a star, and can easily afford to vacate the title without it hurting his popularity.
Another option besides vacating it would be to try and get Maidana to step aside for awhile so that Khan could face a weak puncher in the U.S. like the aforementioned Malignaggi. This would give Khan a chance to look good against a non threat in the United States before having to face a killer puncher like Maidana. At that point, Khan could then vacate the title rather than facing Maidana, and go after another title such as the WBC belt, which is currently held by Devon Alexander.
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