Khan won’t be fighting in July, but could be facing Marquez next
By William Mackay: WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KO’s) won’t be fighting on July 31st after all. The 23-year-old Khan was supposed to be fighting 38-year-old Joel Casamayor on that date in order for Khan to get in one last fight before Ramadan.
However, because the fight will conflict with the world cup competition, Khan’s promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions, want Khan to fight in November instead. Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy, is hoping to put Khan in with Juan Manuel Marquez or the perhaps Juan Diaz, if he beats Marquez in their fight next month on July 31st.
Schaefer is also interested in matching Khan with WBA light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana, although the interest in that fight seems to be less than the Marquez fight. That’s understandable. Maidana is a young, powerful knockout puncher who is a legitimate light welterweight and not an undersized lightweight like the 36-year-old Marquez.
Maidana would have a very real chance of knocking Khan out if he was to be matched against Khan, which is probably why he has been skipped over previously. In contrast, Marquez is more of a featherweight, who has moved up in weight in the late states of his career recently to lightweight. He doesn’t look nearly as good at that weight as he did at featherweight and super featherweight.
To ask Marquez to then come up in weight another division to face the much taller and faster Khan would be a huge advantage for Khan. It might not even be a fair fight because of the size advantage that Khan would have.
Incredibly, Schaefer was planning on ,making Khan’s July fight a pay-per-view bout, which is kind of shocking given that Khan has only fought once in the United States, beating the weak-punching Paulie Malignaggi. I think a fight with Khan as the headliner would do incredibly poor unless he was matched against a known star and I doubt Marquez would be enough of a star to make up for Khan’s still unknown status with casual boxing fans.
A bout between Khan and Casamayor would have probably been totally ignored by boxing fans on PPV, at least in the U.S. It might do well in England, but it would be asking a lot of fans to have to pay to see him fight the 38-year-old Casamayor, who hasn’t been all that active since being stopped by Marquez two years ago and who has fought most of his career until recently at the lower weights.
It’s disappointing that Khan is being steered into fights against smaller fighters rather than ones from his own weight class. Khan may build up a name by fighting the smaller guys and avoid getting knocked out again, but he could be badly exposed again when they finally do put him in with a good fighter from his own weight class, whenever that happens.
On Khan’s Twitter page, Khan said “Guys, Casamayor is one of four names, but if the fight did happen, and we get the date, don’t be surprised if it isn’t him. I have another name in the bag.” I can only assume that the other name is Marquez, since if it was Maidana, Khan would immediately start talking about it.
Again, I don’t think Khan’s management is going to get him anywhere near Maidana anytime soon, if ever. The guy hits too hard and smothers his opponents with his pressure. He gets in close and batters his opponents into submission.
Khan has no inside game whatsoever and would be a sitting duck for Maidana. Freddie Roach, Khan’s trainer, needs to try and teach him how to fight on the inside instead of just how to stick and move because Maidana will likely nullify Khan’s movement almost immediately and knock him cold in a round or two.