Khan believes he can achieve Mayweather status in two fights
By William Mackay: IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) believes he’s only two fights away from being on the same level in terms of status and popularity as unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. Khan wants to go into his fight next year with Mayweather, if he makes it that far, on equal footing with the unbeaten Mayweather. However, for Khan to make it to the level in only two fights he’s going to have to take on and beat some very good fighters. Khan recently beat IBF light welterweight Zab Judah, who turned out to be nothing more than a paper champion.
Khan needs bigger wins than this if he’s to get to Mayweather’s level, because Judah has been beaten over and over again since 2006, and it’s no longer a big deal when he gets beaten. Khan’s most important win of his career was against Marcos Maidana last year, and Khan was almost knocked out. It wasn’t the kind of performance that would suggest that Khan is on the same level as Mayweather. Khan’s other fights in the past three years are as follows: Paul McCloskey, Paulie Malignaggi, Dmitri Salita, Andriy Kotelnik, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Oisin Fagan.
There appears to be a lack of quality among those names, as Barrera was way, way over the hill at the time that Khan fought him. Kotelnik has no power and isn’t popular. Malignaggi is a weak puncher and had already been destroyed by Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. McCloskey – no power, slow hands and completely unknown in the United States. Salita – Slow, weak, no name in the U.S.
Sadly, Khan doesn’t have the victories on his resume to come even close to being as popular as Mayweather, and even if Khan could get a fight against Timothy Bradley in his next fight, it’s going to take way more than that to get to Mayweather’s level. You have to remember, Mayweather didn’t just get popular off of three fights. Mayweather worked hard for 10 long years, beating the likes of a prime Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez, Genero Hernandez, among others. Mayweather also captured world titles in three divisions. Mayweather didn’t do it on the cheap with unknown or old fighters like Khan. This is why it’s silly for Khan to be thinking he can rush his way into Mayweather status after only a handful of fights against so-so opposition at the world level. Every time Khan starts to make progress by taking on someone like Maidana, he shoots himself in the foot by taking on a guy like McCloskey.
If Khan were serious about wanting to get on the same level as Mayweather, he would try to avenge his knockout loss to Breidis Prescott from 2008. How can you aspire to be on Mayweather’s level in two more fights if you can’t even avenge a knockout like the one Khan suffered against Prescott? Can you imagine Mayweather dodging someone that knocked him out in one round? I can’t.
“When I fight him [Mayweather], I want to be a big name,” Khan said to the Press Association. “I don’t just want to fight him as another opponent. I want to be on the same level as him. So when I do fight him it will be like when Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather fight – both of them as champions, not opponents. That’s the league I want to be in against Mayweather, but I need a couple of more fights to get there.”
I hate to be the one to break this to Khan but he’s going to need a lot more than a couple of more fights to get to Mayweather’s level. Khan’s going to need some substance on his resume. Fighting and beating old toothless lions like Judah isn’t enough. Khan needs to fight rematches with Maidana and Prescott for starters, and prove he can beat them. After that, Khan needs to face Lucas Matthysse and beat him. Somewhere along the line, Khan will need to face Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander. Robert Guerrero is someone else Khan needs to beat. At welterweight, Khan will need to beat Victor Ortiz, Mike Jones and Kell Brook. If Khan has any brain cells left taking all those fights, I think he will be getting close to the same level as Mayweather. He’ll still be a couple rungs below him, but good enough to get a 40-60 deal in terms of cut of the revenue. However, I don’t see Khan being able to beat all the fighters I’ve listed. I think Maidana, Ortiz, Jones, and Prescott would all knock Khan out. And I think Guerrero, Matthysse and Bradley will be life and death type fights for Khan where he’ll be lucky to win.