Hearn: Khan is a tough fight for Terence Crawford
By Jeff Aranow: Amir Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Amir Khan has the style to give WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford a lot of problems when/if the two of them face each other in the future. Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) is taking a tune-up fight against low level contender Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) on September 8 in Birmingham, UK.
Hearn wants the World Boxing Association to make the Khan-Vargas fight a WBA title eliminator with the winner of the fight being the mandatory challenger to the winner of this Saturdays fight between WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao.
”Khan’s a tough fight for Crawford,” Hearn said to Fighthype. ”Styles make fights. There’s certain styles where Crawford is unbeatable, but Khan is a good style to try and beat Crawford. All those guys would be happy to take an Amir Khan fight, and he still has the pull and the drive to be in those big fights,” said Hearn.
Hearn could be right about Khan being a bad style match-up for Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs). We saw Crawford struggle with the hand speed of former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014 and Thomas Dulorme in 2015. Both of those guys were able to land shots on Crawford and cause him problems. Since then, Top Rank has matched Crawford with nothing but slow guys without speed and he’s done really well.
Crawford is someone that Khan may fight in the future, but for the time being, Hearn wants him to face the winner of the Pacquiao-Matthysse fight or Brook in his next fight after he takes care of Samuel Vargas on September 8.
“They’re both in the top 10, and obviously you got Pacquiao fighting Matthysse, so that’s the [WBA] regular belt,” Hearn said about Khan’s fight against Samuel Vargas. “He’s [Matthysse] a good champion. We may request with the WBA that the fight is a final eliminator for the winner of Pacquiao against Matthysse. Khan’s been chasing the Pacquiao fight for a long time. I want Amir to fight Kell Brook. We’ll see what happens,” Hearn said.
Vargas, 29, shouldn’t cause Khan too many problems. He’s not a puncher and he lacks the hand speed to create an upset. You never know with Khan though. He was hurt in the past Julio Diaz and Willie Limond, and neither of them were big punchers. If Vargas can stick around long enough to land his shots, he could put Khan in trouble. Fortunately, Khan seems to be punching with more power now that he’s had hand surgery to repair his right hand. Vargas won’t last long if Khan sits down on his shots the way he did in his 1st round knockout win over Phil Lo Greco last April.
”I want someone in between Pacquiao and the elite guys and Phil Lo Greco, and I found Samuel Vargas,” Hearn said. ”He’s about in the middle. He’s decent. Khan hasn’t done the rounds. He did 30 seconds against Lo Greco. I hope Vargas can give him some rounds and test him and hit him on the chin. If he comes through, he has to dive into those tough fights, the Brook fight, the Pacquiao fight,” Hearn said.
Khan needs to get some rounds under his belt right now. It might not be a good thing for Khan to get Vargas out too quickly. Khan needs to make sure he can get as many rounds as possible for him to get ready for the bigger fights that Hearn wants him to take against the winner of the Pacquiao vs. Matthysse fight and Brook. Khan’s last opponent Lo Greco was too poor to give him the rounds that he needs. Vargas might be the same way. If so, Khan is going to be taking a big jump up in class when he faces the Matthysse-Pacquiao winner and Brook.