Khan: I think I can beat Errol Spence
By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) says he has a perfect record in his fights in the past against southpaw opponents, and he believes he can beat IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) if he’s at his best.
Khan is getting a little ahead of himself though, as he still has to prove that he can beat Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs) in his comeback fight tonight at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. This is showcase fight for Khan or at least it should be. If Khan wins that fight, his promoter Eddie Hearn will look for another showcase fight for him in the summer before matching him up against Kell Brook in December. So, we’re possibly looking at two fights for Khan before he challenges Spence for his IBF title unless he wants to push Hearn to make the fight with the American talent in September or October.
Unless Khan’s punch resistance has improved dramatically since his last fight in 2016 against Saul Canelo Alvarez, it’s hard to see him beating the likes of Errol Spence. After all, Spence is seen as the best fighter in the 147 lb. weight class by many boxing fans. Spence is a huge puncher to the head and the body, and Khan has been stopped in the past by lesser punchers than him like Briedis Prescott and Danny Garcia. Those guys don’t hit like Spence does. Even Canelo Alvarez might not have the same kind of punching power that Spence possesses.
“Errol Spence is a very good fight for me. Stylistically, I’ve got a 100 per cent record against southpaws,” said Khan to skysports.com. “If I’m at the best of my condition, I honestly think I can [defeat Spence Jr], with the speed and movement and it being at 147lb where I feel comfortable at. I think that’s a good fight for me at that weight.”
It sounds like Khan is dreaming. He’s not going to do well if he faces Spence in his second fight of his comeback. For Khan to give himself the best chance against Spence, he needs to wait at least a year before he takes that fight. To face Spence in his next fight after tonight’s mismatch against gatekeeper fighter Lo Greco would be asking for trouble.
The champion that Khan should be targeting is WBA World welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse. The 35-year-old Matthysse didn’t look so hot in his recent fight against Tewa Kiram last January. Matthysse seems to have lost a lot from his game since suffering an eye injury in his 10th round TKO loss to Viktor Postol in 2015.
Matthysse was out of the ring for almost two years after that injury, and he hasn’t looked like the same guy since returning to the ring. Matthysse is defending his WBA ‘regular’ title against Manny Pacquiao on July 15 in Malaysia. The winner of the Matthysse-Pacquiao fight would be an ideal opponent for Khan to face BEFORE he fights Brook. If Khan can beat Matthysse or Pacquiao, it would make his mega-fight with Brook a heck of a lot bigger than it would be if he faces him after his match with Lo Greco tonight. Hearn needs to let Khan build up the Brook fight a little better, because they can make a lot of money if Khan wins the WBA belt first before face the ‘The Terminator.’