Khan vs. Maidana to take place in Las Vegas
By William Mackay: World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champion Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KO’s) was really hoping that his fight with WBA light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana (29-1, 27 KO’s) would be taking place in England, where Khan has a large following. However, Khan is going to have to settle for fighting the knockout artist Maidana in the neutral city of Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 11th.
Not being able to fight in front of 20,000 screaming Khan fans is likely going to really hurt Khan, because he’s used to being the house fighter, and having the support behind him. Unfortunately, it may be Maidana who has the crowd behind him on 12/11, because he’s been seen more in the United States on cable than Khan has, and Maidana has arguably a much better crowd pleasing style of fighting than Khan. In the United States, boxing fans for the most part prefer seeing fighters that are willing to take a big shot to give one. That’s exactly how Maidana fights and that’s why he’s quickly become the most popular of the light welterweights in the U.S.
Khan, for his part, tends to run around the ring, jabbing and looking to avoid getting hit when he taking on quality opposition. Khan is much more aggressive when he’s matched against pillow punchers, but against Maidana, you can expect for Khan to be running, jabbing and clinching all night long. Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach is likely going to be giving Khan marching orders to jab, move and clinch. It could get really ugly watching this fight. I would say that Maidana would have very little chance of winning the bout due to his lack of speed, but I think he’s going to be lighting up Khan every time he gets in close trying to grab Maidana in a clinch.
You can’t clinch someone unless they’re willing to be clinched, and Maidana isn’t going to go for that kind of thing. But Roach will no doubt be telling Khan to grab Maidana every time he gets in close and is trying to land his heavy shots. I think this fight could have a very quick and sudden ending like the one two years ago in which Khan was knocked out in one brutal round by Breidis Prescott. Maidana hits harder than Prescott, and will have plenty of opportunities to knock the glass-jawed Khan out each time that Khan tries to grab him in a clinch.
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