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Amir Khan: “Big announcement coming soon”

Amir Khan Terence Crawford Crawford vs. Khan ESPN PPV

By Jim Dower: Amir ‘King’ Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) says he’ll be making a big announcement soon for his next fight, which is expected to be against unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford on April 20. According to Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum, the fight will take place in Las Vegas or New York. Khan will be televised on ESPN pay-per-view.

This is a controversial move on Top Rank’s part, but obviously a must due to the large purses that are required to get Khan and Crawford together. For a bout of the magnitude of this one, it has to be pay-per-view.

“New York or Las Vegas — those are the two spots we are talking about,” Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum said to “It’s a big fight and Khan and Crawford have lot of people fly to their fights. They both have good fan bases…I am very optimistic the fight is going to happen.”

Khan will be getting a purse of $5 million for the fight. Crawford’s purse hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’ll likely close to what Khan is getting.

Khan was supposed to be fighting Kell Brook next in a Matchroom Sport promotion on Sky Box office, but Khan wanted to take the fight with Crawford first. Khan-Brook will still happen at some point, but not until later after Khan finishes up with his fight against the 31-year-old Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs).

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In the best possible world, Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) will beat Crawford. A victory for Khan over Crawford will make the Khan-Brook fight a massive one in the UK for the tail end of 2019.

If Khan pulls off an upset of Crawford, then his bout against Brook will make a mountain of money for both of them. Instead of Khan dragging himself into the Brook fight having been beaten to a pulp by Crawford, he would be coming into it as a rejuvenated fighter coming off the biggest of his career. Unfortunately, for Khan, he probably won’t beat Crawford or even be competitive. At best, Khan could lose by a close 12 round unanimous decision. At worst, Khan will be knocked out by Crawford. That’s what a lot of fans are already predicting. Khan might make it competitive at least while it lasts, and hopefully for his sake that’s the case.

This is a fight that gives Crawford a chance to take on one of the better known fighters at 147 in the last seven years. Although Khan is a name that most boxing fans can recognize, he’s not been able to achieve a lot since he moved out of the 140 pound weight class. Khan hasn’t done much at all at 147 since making the move up in weight in 2013. When Khan first moved up to welterweight, he said it was going to make him a better fighter because he wouldn’t have to struggle to make weight like he’d been doing at 140. The bitter reality is Khan hasn’t become a better fighter since he moved up to 147. He’s been treading water, and doing the minimum with his career.

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You can’t say that Khan has done poorly at 147, given that he still hasn’t lost a fight at welterweight since making the move up to the weight class six years ago. The problem is, Khan has failed to take on any of the good welterweights. It’s been six years of tune-ups for Khan at welterweight. He did move up briefly to challenge Saul Canelo Alvarez for his WBC middleweight title in a 155 pound catch-weight fight in 2016, but that didn’t workout too well for him. Canelo crushed Khan in six rounds after knocking him unconscious.

Crawford hasn’t done much either since moving up to welterweight. Crawford defeated two of his promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank fighters, but he hasn’t faced any of the good welterweights managed by Al Haymon. Khan will be Crawford’s first true quality fighter at 147, so we don’t know for sure how this fight is going to play out. Crawford has only fought twice at welterweight since he moved up in weight last year. He’s beaten Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez at 147, but those aren’t the best talents.

Khan has the faster hands, throws better combinations, and has more experience than Crawford. But the counter punching ability, movement and boxing skills of Crawford is clearly better than Khan.

Crawford didn’t look good in his last fight against Jose Benavidez last October in Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford won the fight by a 12th round knockout, but he looked average. The way Crawford fought Benavidez, he didn’t resemble the fighter that had been when he unified the 140 lb weight class in 2017. Crawford was good enough to stop Benavidez in the 12th, but it was far from the dominating performance that the boxing fans had thought it would be.

Crawford will be coming into the Khan fight with recent wins over Jeff Horn and Benavidez, both of which are signed with Top Rank.

If things go well for the Omaha native, this will be Crawford’s most notable win of his career. Before this fight, Crawford’s best career win was against Yuriorkis Gamboa, who moved up from featherweight to face him at lightweight in 2014. Other than Gamboa, Crawford’s next best win was against the gimpy-legged Benavidez, who only had one good leg to fight with. Even then, Benavidez gave Crawford all kinds of problems.

Crawford is rated #2 by Ring Magazine in their pound-for-pound rankings, but he’s not had to test himself to get that rating. The Ring is going to have pie in their faces if Khan destroys Crawford, as it’ll prove that the people that do the ratings for their organization are rating Terence too highly on his wins over the mediocre opposition. When you look at Crawford’s resume, it’s filled with no names and fringe contenders from top to bottom. Even now, Crawford is still fighting fringe level guys. It’s disappointing how little Crawford has done with his career, and it’s also surprising to see him rated at #2 by Ring Magazine based on his flimsy resume. You can say that Khan would be undefeated if he faced all the same guys that Crawford has fought during his career.

Crawford vs. Khan is expected to sell for around $60, according to Dan Rafael. That price tag is going to scare away a massive amount of boxing fans. With that high of a price tag, a lot of fans won’t bother to order the fight. With DAZN emerging and making PPV fights obsolete, boxing fans no longer have to pay to see good fights. If Khan vs. Crawford were shown on DAZN, fans could see that contest without having to fork over $59.95. The fight would be part of the $10 monthly subscription for DAZN.

It’s been so long since Khan was a world champion. Only the older boxing fans remember Khan’s accomplishments eight to nine years ago in beating the likes of Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana and Paul McCloskey. Just as fast as Khan found success, the door closed on it almost immediately, with him losing to Lamont Peterson in 2011 and Danny Garcia in 2012. Khan has limited success since then with his career. Initially after moving up to the 147 lb weight class in 2013, Khan said he was going to take tune-up fights to get acclimatized to the welterweight division. The tune-up fights became a thing of habit for Khan, and he never snapped out of that habit. Khan’s career has suffered because of it. The only fight where Khan challenged himself in the last seven years is against Canelo in 2016, and that was more of a payday fight. Khan didn’t look like he thought he had a real chance of winning in the build up to that fight, and it wasn’t shocking when he was knocked cold in the sixth round.

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