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Did Khan really prove anything in his win over Maidana?

Amir Khan Marcos Rene MaidanaBy Dan Ambrose: I neither like or dislike WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KO’s), but I am shocked that his British fans are taking his close win over Marcos Maidana (29-1, 27 KO’s) and suggesting that performances was enough to silence his critics and put him in the class of the top guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and other proven fighters. Maybe it’s me but I don’t see Khan’s win over Maidana as being something to be proud of, and if I were Khan or a fan of his, I’d have serious doubts about how far this fighter can go in the future.

Khan was running for his life most of the fight and was forced to throw punches on the run in order to keep from getting knocked out against Maidana, and when Khan did finally slow down in the later rounds, he rocked badly. He spent rounds 10 through 12 mostly holding onto Maidana and taking tremendous punishment. When I see the referee that was selected for the fight Joe Cortez, it gives me the impression that Khan isn’t the real deal.

Cortez broke up action on the inside in the last three rounds of the fight just when Khan was taking serious punishment. In the earlier rounds, Cortez was almost invisible. It was perhaps a lucky thing for Khan that Cortez worked that fight, because I think Maidana would have knocked Khan out had there been a different referee that let Maidana continue to punch Khan on the inside while Khan was holding onto one of Maidana’s arms. But even if you ignore that one crucial part of the fight, Khan still got badly hurt, and still needed to run all fight long in order to keep from getting hurt.

This wasn’t the performance that silenced critics, and it didn’t give me the impression that Khan is on the same level as fighters like Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley, and possibly not even as good as Victor Ortiz. It seems silly for Khan’s fans and for Khan himself to see the win over Maidana as a fight where he proved himself. It looked to me like Khan got exposed again. I would say that this fight Khan is right back to where he was after being knocked out by Breidis Prescott in 2008. That’s where I see him.

If anything, Khan looks worse after this fight than before. Maidana showed that Khan can’t take getting hit that much without getting hurt, because Khan ran for 9 rounds without really getting hit, but once he did, boy was he hurt. I would respect Khan if he turned around and gave Maidana a rematch and was able to prove himself capable of fighting the entire fight without getting badly hurt, and without having a referee that separates Maidana from taking him apart during the crucial moments of the fight. But it doesn’t like Khan is planning on fighting Maidana again at least not soon if ever. That just makes me think Khan isn’t legit. I see him doing well until he’s matched against one of the better fighters like Bradley and Alexander, and then HBO, his fans and the general public will wonder what they ever saw in him.

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