De La Hoya: Amir Khan is right behind Mayweather and Pacquiao in pound-for-pound terms
By William Mackay: You can’t say that Oscar De La Hoya lacks confidence in his fighter IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan. Not only does De La Hoya think Khan is the #1 fighter at 140 pounds, despite the fact that he’s still not faced Humberto Soto, Danny Garcia, Timothy Bradley, Lucas Matthysse, Mike Alvarado or Ajose Olusegun, De La Hoya has Khan ranked right behind Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in the pound-for-pound rankings.
How can you say Khan is the best fighter in the division if he hasn’t faced Alvarado, Bradley, Matthysse or Olusegun? De La Hoya conveniently skips over those fighters. I wonder if De La Hoya will do the same thing after Khan moves up to welterweight? He knocks off a couple of light hitters and then De La Hoya says he’s the best in the division?
De La Hoya said to thesun.co.uk “Amir’s definitely up there in pound-for-pound terms. You can make that argument for him to become the best fighter in the world. We know Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are on top at the moment, but Amir is right on their backs. With time, he can catch them. He’s a young fighter and he’s learning at a rapid pace. In every single fight, we have seen him get better. He can become the best.”
Here’s the problem that may get in the way of Khan becoming a legitimate P-4-P fighter in boxing: He’s only faced two really tough fighters during his entire career – Marcos Maidana and Breidis Prescott, and Khan was knocked out in the 1st round by Prescott and almost knocked out by Maidana. Some boxing fans still think Maidana would have knocked Khan out if a different referee was working the Khan-Maidana fight.
Khan isn’t being matched against really tough fighters since the Maidana beating. Khan fought Paul McCloskey, a UK fighter after his beat down against Maidana. And recently, Khan faced an old past his prime Zab Judah.
Khan is now facing Lamont Peterson on Saturday, a light puncher with a number #1 ranking by the IBF but not someone you would rank that highly or even close that highly in the overall light welterweight rankings. Khan hasn’t been put in with a puncher since the Maidana fight and it looks as if he’s being steered around dangerous punchers.
De La Hoya said “Amir showed he is the best in the division. He has a tremendous chin and heart to prove he is the best at 140.”
I don’t think wins over Andriy Kotelnik, Paulie Malignaggi, Maidana, McCloskey and Judah prove that Khan is the best in the division. A rematch needs to take place with Maidana still, and like I said, Khan needs to beat Bradley, Soto, Garcia, Olusegun, Alvarado and Matthysse before you can say he’s the best in the division. It’s like a person going to school, taking a few classes and then announcing that they have a bachelor’s degree and are ready for their Masters degree.
You can’t say Khan is the best fighter at 140 until he fights all those guys and it’s pretty clear that Khan isn’t going to be matched against any of them. I know he wants Bradley, but even if he fought and beat that guy, he would still have Soto, Garcia, Olusegun, Matthysse and Alvarado to fight.
And you can throw in Robert Guerrero’s name to that bunch as well. Khan plans on moving up after his fight this Saturday night against Peterson, but he’s leaving unfinished business as light welterweight. And Peterson is just another light hitting safe fight for Khan. I rate Matthysse, Olusegun, Soto, Garcia, Alvarado, and Guerrero as much more dangerous fighters than Peterson. And of course, Khan isn’t fighting any of them.
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