Khan targeting Bradley, Cotto or Marquez for next fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Now that former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) finally realizes that he has no chance of getting a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao next, Khan is now targeting Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto or Tim Bradley for his next fight.
Unfortunately for Khan, his chances of getting any of those guys to fight him are probably about as good as they were for him getting Mayweather or Pacquiao into the ring. Khan is missing one thing that would make him an appealing option for Cotto, Marquez and Bradley, and that’s a world title belt.
Without Khan holding down a world title, he’s not exactly an appealing opponent for the likes of Bradley, Cotto or Marquez. Those guys want to fight opponents that have world title belts, and/or have been facing high quality opposition.
Khan comes up short in both of those areas unfortunately. He lost his title straps against Lamont Peterson in 2011, and he’s only beaten Luis Collazo, Julio Diaz, Carlos Molina and Devon Alexander in the last three years instead of higher caliber welterweights.
Missing are the names Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana. Those are the guys that Khan needs to beat in order to make himself a more appealing option for fighters like Marquez, Bradley and Cotto.
“I think Khan has been looking great lately,” said former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis via BBC.co.uk/programmes/p02kjxdy. “His speed is a factor they would find difficult to contend with. Khan would give them [Mayweather and Pacquiao] trouble.”
I don’t think it matters whether Lewis thinks Khan can match up with Mayweather and Pacquiao. The fact is unless Khan starts fighting and beating the high quality welterweights with power instead of the light hitting guys he’s been feasting on lately, I don’t see Khan getting a fight against Mayweather or Pacquiao. In other words, Khan has got to show that he can beat the guys that can punch instead of just the light hitters.
Khan also probably needs to show that he’s willing to stand in the pocket more and risk getting hit instead of fighting on his back foot the way he’s been doing lately. Mayweather and Pacquiao probably aren’t going to want to fight a runner or grabber like Khan. I mean, there’s no reason for Mayweather or Pacquiao to want to fight a defensive guy who fights off his back foot like Khan, because he’s just a contender and not a champion.
Further, Khan doesn’t have a huge following in the United States, so that makes him even less appealing. If the choice comes down to Mayweather and Pacquiao fighting an aggressive fighter who stands in the pocket and who has fan appeal in the U.S or a guy that runs and holds 24/7, without a large fan base in the U.S, I think it’s pretty clear that those guys are going to opt for the better known guy rather than facing Khan.
“The next fight is likely to be in America again and it’s all about keeping my name high over there and hopefully one day getting that big fight against Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao,” Khan said via the BBC.co.uk.
Khan can fight in the U.S for the remainder of his career, but unless he stops fighting the fluff opposition, then it likely won’t help him get a fight against Mayweather or Pacquiao.