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Hearn: Khan is an easy fight for Danny Garcia

Amir Khan Canelo Alvarez

By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Barry Hearn believes it’s time for the 29-year-old former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) to hang up his gloves after his 6th round knockout loss to former WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez earlier this month on May 7 in their HBO pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hearn thinks the only fight out there for Khan right now is WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) and that’s only because Garcia’s people are looking for an easy fight for him. Hearn sees Khan as an easy fight for the 27-year-old Garcia.

Hearn thinks Khan should hang up his gloves for his own good to protect his health. He’s been knocked out by Breidis Prescott, Danny Garcia and Canelo. Hearn thinks Khan would be knocked out if he fights his guy IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. However, he wonders whether the fight would be viable now given how badly Khan was knocked out by Canelo.

“He should retire. He should retire for his own health,” said Hearn to skysports.com. “These people won’t listen. He says he’s got three or four fights left in him. Does that mean three or four times he’s going to get knocked out? Because if he fights Kell Brook, he gets knocked out, and he knows that as well. We all know that.”

I think it’s pretty much academic at this point that Khan is finished as a welterweight at least. Khan doesn’t have any place to go in the 147lb division other than getting a payday against Garcia or Kell Brook. Once he loses to one of those guys, he can go back to the rebuilding stage that he was on from 2012 to 2016, but he’ll basically be spinning his wheels and wasting time. His chin problems will still be there once he steps it up again in my view, and I see the same outcome that we’ve always seen with Khan getting smacked down when he tries stepping it up against a better class of fighter. If Khan does face Danny Garcia, I see him losing by an early knockout. Khan will need to make a decision at that point whether to carry on and cash out against Brook if possible, or hang up the gloves. The only other option is for Khan to train down to the weight classes that he left in the past and try and make something happen there.

I agree with Hearn. Khan should retire from the sport because I don’t see him being able to beat any of the top guys at 147, 154 or 160. Yeah, Khan sort of came back after his back to back losses to Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson in those fights that took place in 2011 and 2012. However, I don’t think Khan really did come back. I mean, I thought he was given a gift 12 round decision over Julio Diaz in 2013.

If you saw that fight, which took place in London, England, Khan was knocked down in the 4th round, and wobbled on at least two occasions in the later rounds. I thought Diaz, the visiting fighter, was royally robbed in that fight. Diaz was the B-side of the equation in that fight, so I wasn’t surprised to see him lose to Khan.

My point is, Khan never really came back from the losses to Peterson and Garcia. Khan had wins over little 5’5” Carlos Molina, the questionable one over Julio Diaz, and then victories over Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri. Those were not top level welterweights, at least not when Khan fought them.

Alexander was pretty much a finished fighter at 147 after his loss to Shawn Porter, and I don’t think Alexander should have ever moved up in weight to welterweight. He doesn’t belong in that weight class clearly. Khan almost lost to Algieri in a very, very close fight. That fight showed that Khan doesn’t have the talent to fight at 140.

The thing is he was having problems at 140 as well, so he can’t exactly go back down there. However, I think 135 and 140 are the only weight classes that Khan has any chance at doing well in at this point of his career. The welterweight division is too stacked right now. Even fighters like Kell Brook are arguably out of place as a champion. He’s a champion but arguably a paper champion that is on borrowed time. Once he gets in there with Errol Spence, he’s finished in my view.

“The only people that will box him, Danny Garcia maybe, because they are looking for an easy fight and Amir’s an easy fight,” said Hearn. “It’s a fight [Khan vs. Brook] that we would all have loved to have seen, but frankly it’s gone past it’s sell-by date and Amir Khan has gone by his sell-by date as well. The only person who doesn’t know it, is Amir Khan.”

If I’m Hearn, I wouldn’t give up on the idea of trying to get Khan in the ring with Brook. Hearn needs to make that fight happen before Brook faces Spence because once that fight happens, I see Brook getting knocked out by him. Judging by some of the comments Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has been saying recently about Brook moving up to junior middleweight after two more fights, I have some doubts whether we’ll ever see a fight between Brook and Spence. It looks to me like Brook will give up his IBF title when faced with fighting Spence if/when he becomes his IBF mandatory challenger. But if Brook is going to be staying at welterweight for a couple of more years, then he needs to try and make the Khan fight happen as soon as possible.

It’s Brook’s only real chance for a big payday unless Hearn can get Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin inside the ring to fight Brook. That’s a bad match-up for Brook because he can’t clinch those guys all night long and try and squeak by with an ugly decision win like he did against Shawn Porter. Brook would actually have to fight them, and I see it ending badly for Brook. But on the plus side, he would get a tremendous payday from those fights. He’d only get one of those guys though because once he loses badly to one of them, it would preclude a fight against the other one from happening.


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