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Amir Khan says Samuel Vargas fight will take him to bigger fights

Amir Khan

By Scott Gilfoid: Amir ‘King’ Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) says he’s going to be putting on an explosive performance next month against fringe level contender Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) in their fight on September 8 at the Arena Birmingham, in Birmingham, UK.

This is a mismatch on paper. Khan is facing a guy in Vargas who was knocked out by Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia, and is coming off of a 10 round draw against Mauro Maximiliano Godoy last June. Just why Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn decided to match him against a fighter that is coming off of a draw against a journeyman level fighter is the important question.

Khan’s last fight was against a journeyman named Phil Lo Greco, who he stopped in the 1st round last April. Now Khan is being matched against another journeyman and the boxing public is less than enthusiastic about this mismatch.

Khan, 31, says the match against Vargas will lead to bigger fights in the future. Khan doesn’t elaborate who specifically he’s interested in fighting after Vargas, but it’s no secret that he would like to challenge World Boxing Association secondary welterweight belt holder Manny Pacquiao for his title. Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t sound optimistic that he can put together a fight between Khan and Pacquiao though without help from an outside country with a strong tourism business that is willing to come up with the money to pay out the money to the Filipino star.

“Fans will see another explosive performance on Sept. 8,” said Khan. “I didn’t get a chance to show everyone what I had been working on during my time out against Lo Greco, but you saw the punch power, accuracy, speed and timing, and you’ll see it again against Vargas. I always make it exciting. It’s going to be another big bang.”

Instead of Khan blabbering about how he didn’t get a chance to show how good he is due to his dreadful opponent Lo Greco last time out, he should be putting some heat under the backside of Hearn by telling him to find him a live body with a pulse for him to fight instead of trotting out another stiff for him to pad his record against. Khan should be fighting someone with at least a sliver of talent for his second fight for his comeback instead of another obscure journeyman level fighter.

Well, if Khan would push his promoter Hearn to start matching him against good fighters, then maybe he could get some rounds in to show the boxig public what he’s capable of doing. As of now, the fans only have Khan’s knockout losses to Saul Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia to show them what he’s capable of or should I say NOT capable of. The guys that Khan beats are fighters that journeyman level opposition would beat as well. I mean, Lo Greco, 33, is not a good fighter, and obviously Vargas isn’t either.

In fairness to Khan, he was returning from a two-year layoff from the ring when he fought the Canadian journeyman Lo Greco last April, so he gets a free pass for fighting a poor opponent. But this is now Khan’s second fight of his comeback, and he should be fighting better opposition at this point instead of fighting another Lo Greco-level fighter in Samuel Vargas. If the idea is to keep feeding the 31-year-old Khan fodder to make him look beer than he actually is, then Hearn is doing a good job of making him look good. But Khan is getting up there in age, and he shouldn’t still be fighting poor opposition.

Khan is going to need to face someone that is capable of throwing punches back at him if he’s to get ready to face the big dogs in the 147 pound division like Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. Hearn wants to have Khan fight Kell Brook by December, which is worse for him because Brook is a junior middleweight with excellent power and size. Any way you want to spin it, Brook is BAD news for Khan. I don’t care what Hearn says about it being a 50-50 fight, Khan vs. Brook is a mismatch on paper. Brook has too much punching power and size for Khan to deal with, especially given the fact that he’s fighting only journeyman level opposition since his return from a two-year layoff from boxing.

“Vargas is another step and move in the right direction,” Khan said. ”This will take me on to the bigger and better fights, and that’s with no disrespect to Sammy. He’s going to come to win; he knows by beating me it propels him on to a whole new level.”

A win over Khan won’t propel Vargas to a whole another level. Let’s be serious. If Vargas wins this fight, it’s just going to make the boxing public see Khan as being officially done, particularly if he’s knocked out by the 29-year-old. Vargas isn’t going to see his career go to another level if he beats Khan. The only thing the fight will guarantee Vargas is a rematch, which will obviously take place in the UK once again. Khan cannot walk away from a loss to Vargas without attempting to avenge the defeat in some way. It’s career over for Khan if he gets beaten by Vargas and he fails to avenge the loss. There are some types of fighters that Khan can walk away from without trying to avenge the loss like Canelo Alvarez, Briedis Prescott, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. But if Khan loses to Vargas and fails to try and line up a rematch, then he’ll be officially done in the eyes of the boxing public.

Khan replaced trainer Virgil Hunter with Joe Goosen following his recent medical emergency. Instead of returning to Hunter, Khan decided to stay with Goosen. We’ll eventually see if this was the right move on Khan’s part once Hearn finally steps him up against a better opponent. Like I said, Hearn wants to match Khan against Brook in December in what would be an in house Matchroom Sport fight on Sky Box Office PPV, but it’s still unclear whether that fight will take place. Khan wants to fight the 40-ish Pacquiao later this year if the fight can be negotiated.

It’s one of them fights I have to be very smart in,” Khan said. ”I need to win and also look good doing so. There’s big fights in the pipeline, but I can’t afford to look that far ahead; Vargas has my full attention.”


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