Khan left with some ugly/dangerous choices for his last fight at 140 lbs
By William Mackay: IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KO’s) was hoping to add a third belt to his other two titles before moving up in weight to the welterweight division next year.
However, with the news that WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley — who was recently stripped by the World Boxing Council of his WBC title and given the designation “Champion in Recess,” — getting the first shot at the winner of the September 17th fight between Lucas Matthysse and Erik Morales.
This leaves Khan no options for picking up a third title. Bradley isn’t interested in fighting Khan right now in a unification bout. As such, Khan is left with either fighting the winner of the August 27th fight between Marcos Maidana and Robert Guerrero for the WBA regular light welterweight title or facing the winner of the September 10th WBA light welterweight title eliminator bout between Breidis Prescott and Paul McCloskey.
The choices are very tough ones for Khan, because if McCloskey defeats Prescott, there would be little fan interest in seeing a rematch between him and Khan. McCloskey was already easily beaten by Khan last April in a 6th round technical decision defeat. Few boxing fans would want to see Khan fight McCloskey again, even if he does get by Prescott.
By the same token, if Prescott beats McCloskey, Khan would be faced with the unhappy choice of fighting a guy that knocked him out in the 1st round three years ago in 2008. Khan has been avoiding Prescott for all these years, and it would be hard to imagine seeing Khan agreeing to fight him now with a big money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr just over the horizon next year in 2012.
Prescott hits hard, has better power and a much better jab than Khan. In addition, he’s taller than Khan at 5’11”, and that’s something that the 5’10” Khan hasn’t had to deal with in his fights. With the exception of his 1st round knockout loss to Prescott, Khan has been pitted against shorter opponents his entire career.
Fighting the winner of the Guerrero-Maidana fight is also no picnic for Khan, as he struggled badly to beat Maidana last year in a 12 round decision in December 2010. Maidana had Khan badly hurt and made a mess of Khan’s face. It’s doubtful that Khan will ever want to get back in the ring with Maidana. And if Guerrero makes easy work of Maidana, which a lot of boxing fans feel he’ll do on August 27th, the last thing that Khan will want is to fight a guy that can easily beat Maidana, not when a cash out money fight against Mayweather Jr is just around the corner.
My guess is Khan will opt to fight the winner of the Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse fight. Matthysse has good power, but he doesn’t hit as hard as Maidana, He also can be out-boxed, as we saw in his controversial defeats against Devon Alexander and Zab Judah. He can punch almost as hard as Maidana, which makes him dangerous for a fighter with a weak chin like Khan, but that’s a risk Khan has to take.
Khan’s other options: McCloskey, Prescott, Guerrero and Maidana are far worse than Matthysse. In a perfect world, Morales will defeat Matthysse by a controversial decision and move on to a Khan fight.
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