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Khan may beat Hatton to a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez

Amir Khan Juan Manuel Marquez Marcos Rene Maidana Ricky HattonBy William Mackay: World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan could beat former IBF light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton to a fight against Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight in April or May. Hatton, 31, is reportedly interested in fighting Marquez for his comeback bout in his next fight, but Khan, 23, is also interested in facing the 36-year-old Marquez for his debut fight in the United States.

One problem for Khan, though, is that the WBA has ordered him to fight WBA light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana next and if Khan chooses to circumvent that fight and take a bout against Marquez or Paulie Malignaggi, then the WBA could strip Khan of his title. It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but having a title in his possession for his first fight in the U.S. is perhaps more important than people think. It gives the little known Khan a sense of credibility with boxing fans that will be seeing him for the first time.

Otherwise, they will have little to go by other than what the analysts are saying about him. If Khan chooses to steer around taking on the knockout artist Maidana, you can bet that the HBO analysts will discuss that on the air and lets fans know about it. Roach would like to have Maidana put on the undercard of Khan’s next fight instead of against Khan.

Roach sees that as a way of building up the fight. Personally, I think it’s a poor idea unless Maidana is matched up against someone tough. If you put him in with a nobody, which will probably happen, then he’ll just mow the poor shmuck down in a round or two and boxing fans won’t care one bit. The only way that fan interest will increase with seeing Maidana is if he’s matched tough against someone in the class of Victor Ortiz.

At the same time, Maidana doesn’t have the best of boxing skills and can be out-boxed. If Khan and Roach wait too long for this fight to happen, then Maidana could end up getting beaten again. He’s already lost a controversial 12 round decision to Andriy Kotelnik, and was knocked down three times in the first two rounds by Ortiz last year. I don’t know if Roach is serious about wanting to really build up a future Khan-Maidana fight or if that’s just a convenient excuse he’s making to avoid having Khan go up against Maidana and perhaps have his blocked knocked off by the heavy puncher. Whatever the case, it won’t look good if Khan sidesteps around Maidana to fight an older, smaller 36-year-old Marquez, who recently was totally dominated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September.

That seems like a cherry picking move much like Khan’s fight with an old 35-year-old Marco Antonio Barrera in 2009. In an article at the Daily Mail, Khan said “Freddie said before Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought Marquez, “If you ever fight Marquez, you will take him apart.” I don’t doubt that Khan wouldn’t win, because he is a lot taller, bigger, younger and faster than the aging Marquez.

After all, Marquez has fought primarily as a featherweight until he was 32-years-old and only then did he move up to the super featherweight division to chase Manny Pacquiao. Marquez has subsequently moved up again, this time to the lightweight division to continue unsuccessfully chase after Pacquiao.

It hasn’t worked. Pacquiao appears totally uninterested in fighting Marquez again. At the same time, Marquez doesn’t look effective at lightweight and seems too small to carry around the extra weight which slows him down. If Marquez were to have to fight Khan, he would have to go up in weight even more to the light welterweight division and would likely be too slow by having to carry that weight against Khan.

If Khan really wants to impress someone, he needs to go after Maidana or WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley. At least he would be fighting someone from his own weight class and a fighter who is more or less near Khan’s own age level. Marquez is closer to 40 than 30, and he looks to be too old and small for Khan.

But I guess that’s the whole point in choosing him rather than dangerous punchers like Maidana, Kendall Holt, Bradley or Ricardo Torres. Khan would be in great danger of not only losing but in being knocked out badly in one or two rounds like he was against Breidis Prescott.

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