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The Importance of a Good Chin and Fight Experience in the Modern Era of Boxing

Amir KhanBy Craig Hilton: To stay at the top in boxing you’ve got to be able to give as well as you get. The modern era of boxing is becoming increasingly scientific; boxers are able to inflate by twenty pounds following their weigh-in.

Therefore, if you’re fighting at Welterweight these days, you need to able to take the shot of a full blown middleweight in order to retain your position among the world’s elite.

As a British boxing fan, I’m aware of recent sparring between Light-Heavyweight, Nathan Cleverley, and Heavyweight, Tyson Fury. I also heard Featherweight Prospect, Lee Selby, comment on his ability to take the shot of a Heavyweight. The modern day professional has to build their resilience to power shots in preparation for some of the most brutal of battles at world level. American, Timothy Bradley commented on a mild concussion following his war with Ruslan Provodnikov. Although I don’t recognize Bradley as a great boxer with much natural ability, his endurance, mentality and fantastic chin are admirable.

It’s requires a comprehensive boxing ability to win and retain a world title. It takes far more than natural speed or power – that will get you to 20-0 – it takes hard work, drill rehearsal, refined ring craft, fight experience, mental strength and the ability to take a good shot. Many of the boxers in the British rankings are close to a world title shot but are struggling with elite level opposition – Tony Bellew found Isaac Chilemba troublesome and Kell Brook hit a wall against Carson Jones. To win and retain a world title, you have to be the full package.

I believe that Amir Khan’s natural hand speed played a tremendous part in his capture of a world title but his feeble and often unguarded chin may prevent him from retaining his grip on a world title and ever unifying a division. Khan is far from a rounded fighter that can withhold his place amongst the world’s elite. His exciting style may make for entertaining fights and make him a fortune, but his vulnerability to a power shot will not preserve his world class status. Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, cannot make his chin more resilient or alter any of his natural attributes; he has to drill Khan to box with sound defence to reduce opponents’ opportunities to land bombs.

Golden Boy will ally Khan with any trainer that can make him successful in the big-money Welterweight Division. Some will argue that the opposition are slower in the bigger weight classes and therefore he may not get tagged as often at 147 pounds. However, if he does get hit clean by a mighty blow that he doesn’t see coming, I’m not sure he will get up or last very long as a professional fighter. The Khan conundrum is a difficult one; maybe more experiences against tough fighters like Julio Diaz are just what he needs in preparation for another massive world title tilt.


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