Amir Khan lists 5 big names he wants to fight
By Tim Royner: Amir Khan’s comeback opponent for April 21 is yet to be decided by him and his team, but he says he has 5 notable fighters that he wants to face during his comeback. Unfortunately, Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) might not face any of those guys if he gets beaten before he gets a chance to step up against them.
Here are Khan’s top 5 list, according to Sky Sports:
1. Kell Brook – Khan and Brook are heading for a showdown in late 2018. This fight has the highest chance of taking place
2. Manny Pacquiao – This is a fight that has very little chance of happening for Khan right now. He’s not with the same promotional company as Pacquiao. Bob Arum promotes Pacquiao, and some believe that he wants to keep the former 8-division world champion taking only in house fights against Top Rank fighters. It’s logical for Arum to keep Pacquiao fighting only his own guys until he retires. It’s one way of making them more popular and valuable to his promotional company. Pacquiao wanted to fight Khan last year, but Arum matched him with his Top Rank fighter Jeff Horn instead. Khan would have had a better chance of fighting Pacquiao years ago, but not now with him only having small handful of fights remaining before he retires from boxing
3. Terence Crawford – This fight could happen for Khan, but it’ll have to wait until Crawford fights Horn in April
4. Errol Spence Jr. – This is an easy fight to setup for Khan. If Hearn wants to match Khan against Spence, he can easily do it. Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) wants to face Khan. Spence wants the unification match against Thurman, but that fight isn’t going to take place until 2019. In the meantime, Spence is going to be available to fight other guys like Khan or whoever has a big enough name to step up and face him
5. Keith Thurman – Khan might have a shot at facing Thurman in 2019, but not this year. Thurman has 3 fights he plans on taking this year and those are Jessie Vargas, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia
”Let’s see how he does in the 154 division. I know he’s got a fight coming up with [Sergey] Rabchenko. But look this is a fight maybe in the future that can happen,” said Khan to skysports.com.
It’s probably not feasible for Khan to assume that he’s going to be able to fight anyone other than Kell Brook from his 5-fighter list. Khan could easily face Spence in his second fight of his comeback, but he’ll probably receive some resistance from his new promoter Eddie Hearn, who wants him to fight Brook. Hearn promotes Brook, so it’s a smart move for him to make sure those 2 face each other. For the foreseeable future, it’s wise for Hearn to make sure Khan is only matched against guys that he has 75 percent chance of beating. That means no one on Khan’s 5-fighter list will likely get a shot at him other than Kell Brook.
Khan, 31, is returning on April 21 from a 2-year layoff from boxing. He’ll be fighting at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Khan signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport in the UK. It was a smart move by Khan to ink with Hearn, because he has an exclusive contract with Sky Sports to have his top fighters televised on that network. Hearn wants to build Khan back up for the UK to help setup a fight against Kell Brook at some point in 2018.
Khan has been out of boxing for such a long time. Even if Khan rededicated himself to the sport 100 percent, it’s not likely that he’ll be able to get back to the level he was at during his best years of his career from 2009 to 2011. You can never get back to the level you once were when you stop being an active fighter for as long as Khan has. Khan stopped being a full-time fighter in 2013.
Khan has made a lot of money in boxing and he’s been more interested in leisure activities than he has in improving his game. That’s how it goes in the sport. Fighters achieve success in the sport, and then they ease off and start enjoying their money and not fighting as much. Once that happens, it’s all downhill. Khan is no different than most fighters that make a lot of money and then ruin their careers.
Hearn is a smart promoter. He likely realizes that Khan will be finished as a fighter after his 3-fight contract is done in 2018, which is why he’s so interested in matching him up with Kell Brook as soon as he can. The fight needs to be made before Khan is exposed by any of the top 5 welterweights on his personal list. There other fighters from the welterweight division that would likely beat Khan with no problems.
These welterweights would have a very good chance of beating Khan:
• Shawn Porter
• Danny Garcia – He already defeated Khan in 2012
• Lamont Peterson – Khan lost to Peterson in 2011
• Jeff Horn
• Konstantin Ponomarev – Not a major player in the 147 lb. division, but he’s active and fighting at a high level
• Lucas Matthysse – He’s up there in age at 35, but he punches with huge power and he would likely walk Khan down and knock him out quickly
• Bradley Skeete – a rangy fighter with good size and boxing skills. He’s been active in the last 2 years. He likely would beat Khan based on his activity level
• David Avanesyan
• Jamal James
• Jessie Vargas – He can punch
• Victor Ortiz
• Andre Berto
• Brandon Rios
There are a lot of fighters in the 147 lb. division that can potentially beat Khan. That makes things harder for Hearn to when it comes to matching Khan in his first 2 fights of his 3-fight contract in 2018. If Hearn lets Khan have his way by agreeing to match him against someone a little too good in his first 2 fights of his contract with Matchroom Sport, he’ll get beaten, and that’ll ruin the big money fight later this year against Brook. Hearn needs to be assertive to make sure that Khan doesn’t upset his plans for the Brook-Khan mega fight by losing before he gets to that match.