Khan talks Maidana, Mayweather, Malignaggi, More!
By Scott Gilfoid: In an interview at East Side Boxing’s On The Ropes, World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Amir Khan said he’s looking to fight his mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana (27-1, 26 KO’s) in March. This is great news for boxing fans, because a lot people have been wondering whether Khan would choose to vacate his title rather than fighting the dangerous Maidana, who may be the hardest hitter in the light welterweight division.
Speaking about Maidana, Khan said “Maidana is my mandatory, and I am going to take that fight. I am very confident about that fight. I spoke to Freddie Roach [Amir’s trainer]. He’s also very confident about that fight. And we’ll start getting ready for that fight.”
Well, there it is. Khan is saying he wants to fight Maidana, so unless Khan changes his mind and decides to vacate, which I can see Khan easily doing, it looks like Khan is going to take that fight. Maidana hits really hard and it’s going to be interesting to see what Amir can do to try and outbox Maidana. Short of running all night long, I don’t know what Khan can do to stay upright against the big punching Maidana.
Khan is not going to be able to knock Maidana out in the 1st round like he did against his last opponent Dmitriy Salita. Khan will have an opponent that will be looking to take his head off with every punch. Roach is a great trainer, but there’s only so much a trainer can do to help out a fighter with a weak chin like Khan. Roach will probably be telling Khan to run like crazy, and that’s not a half bad idea, because if Khan tries to get brave, I can see Maidana parking his head into the 3rd row.
I wish I could say that I think Khan will win, but I can’t. I think Maidana is going to destroy Khan very early in this bout. As soon as Maidana connects with his first big shots, Khan is going to be wobbling around the ring on rubber legs. Maidana will then finish Khan off with a big right hand.
Khan thinks that he’s improved enough to beat a lot of fighters, and still thinks that his 1st round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott was a good thing. Khan hasn’t fought Prescott to try and avenge his defeat, and it looks like he probably never will at this point because Prescott has lost his last two fights.
Khan seems to have a great outlook about his knockout loss to Prescott, doing a good job of explaining away his defeat. “Any fighter that gets hit with one of those shots [one of the power shots that Prescott dropped Khan with], they would have been knocked out,” Khan says. Khan seems to forget that Prescott’s last two opponents have taken his best shots, including little Kevin Mitchell, and not been knocked out or hurt. “My body was cold. Imagine me fighting Prescott now. I think I’d give him [Prescott] a great boxing lesson and knock him out late in the fight.”
Yeah, I’d like to see that too. I wish Khan would fight Prescott again, but I don’t see it happening.
Khan thinks that WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is the best fighter in the division, but thinks he’ll be ready to fight him in late 2010. “I think Timothy is a great fighter,” Khan says. “I think that fight [Khan vs. Bradley] can happen in late 2010. I need more experience. I think it would be a great fight for me…I think Timothy has the most dangerous style for me, but by the end of 2010, he’ll be perfect for me.”
I don’t know that Khan will be ready for Bradley by as early as late 2010, like Khan says. I see Timothy as being a couple of levels above Khan in talent. Khan needs to take one step at a time. He hasn’t fought anyone near the level of Bradley of yet. Khan’s last five fights have been against the following fighters: Prescott, Osin Fagan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Andriy Kotelnik and Salita. These are decent fighters, but come on; none of them are even close to being as good as Bradley. Khan needs scale down his ambition a little, and try to focus on just getting through his fight with Maidana without getting sparked out again.
Besides Bradley and Maidana, Khan is also interested in fighting Paulie Malignaggi and Nate Campbell, saying “Paulie Malignaggi is a great fight for me. He’s made for my style. I think I can outbox him and beat him. I’d love to fight Nate Campbell. He’s a fighter I would totally outbox. I’d love to fight him in the near future. Nate has a style that suits me.”
I agree with Khan about him being able to beat Malignaggi, but I’m less certain about Amir being able to beat Campbell. That fight is a toss-up for me. If Khan runs for 12 rounds, then I can see him getting though the fight and possibly winning it by a narrow decision. But if Khan stands in one place or tries to trade with Campbell, I can see Khan being knocked out again. Campbell may be getting up in there in age, but I think he’s still dangerous enough to stop Khan if he can connect with something big.
Looking into the future, Khan says “My dream fight is Mayweather, when I hit my peak, when I turn 24. In the next 18 months, a fight with Mayweather, with the right coaches, I think I can beat him.”
I don’t think so. I think Mayweather will dominate him badly, and I can’t see it being close at all. If Khan were to wait seven or eight years, when Mayweather is 40, then I think Khan would do well against Mayweather under those circumstances.
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