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Khan vs. Maidana: I see Amir getting knocked cold

Amir Khan Marcos Rene MaidanaBy Scott Gilfoid: If WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (22-1, 16 KO’s) doesn’t decide on vacating his World Boxing Association title rather than taking on WBA interim light welterweight title next, I see Khan getting knocked out cold by the hard hitting Maidana. That’s my prediction. Maidana hits so hard that he might be able to knock Khan out, even if he doesn’t connect cleanly with one of his shots. No one will say that Maidana is the most skilled fighter in the world, but he has brute strength and power that few other fighters in the light welterweight division can come close to.

Khan isn’t a bad puncher himself, but under his new trainer Freddie Roach, Khan has become much more defensively oriented and less inclined to take chances offensively for fear of exposing his chin to incoming fire. If Khan decides to take the Maidana fight and not vacate, he’ll be in constant danger of being knocked out by Maidana. Khan was already stopped in a 1st round knockout by Breidis Prescott in September 2008.

I know Khan’s trainer Roach is considered to be a genius by many boxing fans, but I think he’s going to end up looking bad in this one if Maidana knocks Khan’s head off with one of his bombs. I don’t know how he can start over from a knockout from Maidana. That would be Khan’s second knockout loss in two years, and it would be a sign that he needs to make dramatic changes to his game.

I suspect that Khan will be doing everything he can to avoid getting clipped by one of Maidana’s big shots, if he takes the fight with the Argentinean. You can bet that Khan will have his track shoes on and be running for the hills against Maidana. But I think two things will likely happen: 1. Maidana will catch up to Khan sooner rather than later and knock him into next year with a huge shot that Khan won’t be able to recover from. 2. Khan might get brave if he finds some limited success against Maidana and try to punch with him and end up getting knocked flat. I think the 2nd scenario is more likely. Khan will be no doubt fighting in front of a huge home audience in England, which will give him confidence to try and slug a little with Maidana.

The fans will be screaming their heads off trying to get Khan motivated. This will work against Khan, because he’ll rush in madly and end up taking a home run shot from Maidana that will park Khan on the canvas. I doubt Khan will be able to get up from a knockdown from Maidana like he was after being dropped by Prescott. However, if Khan does, Maidana will knock him cold with the first punch he throws after the knockdown and will have a new WBA champion. If this was a fight with huge 16 ounce gloves on and head gear, Khan might be able to win the fight.

Khan will have to use his jab and long reach and run as much as possible to last even a few rounds. Maidana is a monster and the only way that Khan can last is by running and keeping his head out of harm’s way. Khan has to fight the most perfect fight to get through even four or five rounds. Forget about the whole 12 rounds. It’s not possible for him to go 12 rounds without taking a monstrous shot from Maidana and ending up on the canvas in my view.

Maidana is just too strong and he’ll find Khan’s glass jaw and put him down sooner or later. I don’t care how much sparring Khan does with Manny Pacquiao before the fight, it won’t matter. I actually doubt that Pacquiao will be sparring with Khan before this fight. I can see Khan sparring with Pacquiao to help him with his upcoming March 13th fight with Joshua Clottey, but I can’t see Pacquiao making a separate trip to the U.S. to get Khan ready for his fight with Maidana. I saw Pacquiao sparring with Khan already, and it looked like Pacquiao was taking it easy on Khan. He wasn’t laying into him full bore the way that Pacquiao does in his fights.

Maidana looks slow and clumsy at times, but he doesn’t need to be a great boxer. His power greats all the opportunities he needs. Maidana may not have boxing skills anywhere near Khan, but all it takes with him is one punch and he’ll have Khan counting stars on the canvas. This is the perfect opponent for Maidana. Khan, a fighter with questionable punch resistance, taking on arguably the hardest puncher in the light welterweight division.

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