Amir Khan: Don’t doubt me

By Boxing News - 04/15/2019 - Comments

Image: Amir Khan: Don't doubt me

By Trevor McIntyre: The Terence Crawford vs. Terence Crawford fight is just five days away for this Saturday, April 20 on BT Sport Box Office and ESPN pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden in New York.

BT Sport put together a nice promo of Khan, 32, in action, taking about his past accomplishments, and what many of his critics are saying about him in writing him off for his title challenge against the unbeaten #2 Ring Magazine pound-for-pound fighter and current WBO welterweight champion Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs).

Khan doesn’t care what his critics are saying about him. He plans on pulling off the upset on Saturday night by sending Crawford down to his first career defeat, and removing him the #2 spot in the pound-for-pound ratings. Crawford may still be on the P-4-P list after Saturday, but he WON’T be at #2 anymore. He’ll be moved down just as Gennady Golovkin was moved down after he lost recently to Saul Canelo Alvarez last September.

“I can never go back and erase certain defeats,” Khan said about his past four defeats on his resume to Breidis Prescott, Lamont Peterson [retired], Danny Garcia and Saul Canelo Alvarez. “I’m an Olympic Silver medalist, [and] two-time world champion. Yeah, the critics never stop talking. They say I’ll never be a world champion again, my chin is shot, and my time is up. They say, ‘this is the wrong fight. Crawford is too strong, too fast, too skillful.’ They say, ‘pound-for-pound, he is the king.’ They say, ‘It’s over for Amir Khan.’ I say stop talking about me. They say I’ll just be eliminated. I say you’ll never forget my name,” Khan said.

Most boxing fans are picking against Khan. He’s got to show something special if he wants to beat the 31-year-old Crawford, because the fans and boxing experts are picking Khan to lose this fight. They see him getting knocked out in this fight.

This is a big payday for Khan. Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank are giving him a massive amount of money to fight Crawford. Top Rank has basically bought a name for Crawford to help increase his popularity in the boxing world. It’s unclear whey they chose Khan though, as he’s not done a whole heck of a loss with his career since losing to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in consecutive defeats years ago in 2011/2012. Khan’s career has been on a big free fall, but Top Rank chose him anyway. You can argue that they picked a fighter they felt that Crawford is good enough to beat. Had Top Rank thrown a bunch of money at Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter or Errol Spence, there would be a lot of doubts whether he would be winning on Saturday night. Those guys aren’t shot, and they don’t have a history of being knocked out the way that Khan does.

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) could have taken a fight against former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook for a big payday in a stadium fight on Sky Box Office PPV, but he wanted Crawford. The belief that a lot of boxing fans have it Khan would rather be beaten by an unbeaten world champion and #2 pound-for-pound fighter than an inactive guy with eye problems, and who is considered a shot fighter in the eyes of many fans. Ignoring all that, just the fact that Brook has stalled out his career in treading water waiting for the Khan fight, and only taking on soft opponents, it’s made him less desirable as an opponent for anyone. Khan wants to fight guys that are still ambitious and moving forward with their careers. Brook seems to be the opposite of that. Brook’s two stoppage losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr., both of which resulted in him suffering fracture eye sockets, seems to have knocked the confidence out of him entirely. Brook neither fights frequently anymore nor faces the best. He’s fighting more like a guy waiting for a cash-out before retiring. If Khan loses to Crawford, it’s not as bad as it would in getting beaten by a semi-retired fighter like Brook.

Even during Khan’s best years in the sport, he was never an A-level guy. He came up short time and time again when he would step it up against the better fighters like Prescott, Lamont Peterson, Saul Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia. Khan’s best win of his career was against Marcos Maidana in 2010. Khan could have lost that fight if the referee had stood back and let Maidana unload on Khan in the 10th round after he had him hurt. It looked like the referee was putting himself in between Khan and Maidana after Amir was hurt by a big looping right hand from the Argentinian knockout artist.

Khan has done well with his boxing career in terms of his earnings. He has a net worth of $30 million, according to Celebrity net worth. That’s without fighting the huge names like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. You can believe that Khan is going to add considerably to his fortune in his fight against Crawford on Saturday, and then later a British grudge match against Brook. If Khan can beat Crawford, he’s going to make a mountain of money in the rematch on ESPN PPV. You can’t rule out a win for Khan over Crawford. When you look at Crawford’s resume or lack thereof, it’s pretty clear that his promoters at Top Rank have been protecting him in the same way they’re now arguably doing with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury by matching him weakly against Tom Schwarz instead of Deontay Wilder to increase his popularity by putting him in fights he can win and look good in.

The fans haven’t been quite as astute in notcing a trend in how Top Rank has been matching Crawford. Top Rank has been able to slip under the radar with the way they’ve matched Crawford against fighters like Raymundo Beltran, Dierry Jean, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr., Viktor Postol, Hank Lundy, Thomas Dulorme, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, Andry Klimov, Julius Indongo, Alejandro Sanabria, Breidis Prescott and Sidney Siqueira. Those are the fighters that Crawford has fought in the last six years. That’s the complete list. Knowledgeable boxing fans will look at that list and see right away that Crawford hasn’t been facing the elite level fighters in any of the weight classes he’s been fighting in.

Recently, Crawford was able to unify the 140 lb division and wrap up three years in that weight class without fighting any of these guys: Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, Kiryl Relikh, Maurice Hooker, Mario Barrios, Jose Carlos Ramirez, and Vergil Ortiz. Crawford didn’t fight the best 140 before leaving the division. Now that Crawford is at 147, he’s being matched in the same way he was at 140 by his promoters at Top Rank. They put Crawford in with Horn and Benavidez Jr., and now they’ve selected Khan. As such, we don’t know how good Crawford is because his promoters at Top Rank are matching him against fighters that are beatable every time out.

Other fights on the Crawford vs. Khan card this Saturday night are as follows:

Shakur Stevenson vs. Christopher Diaz

Teofimo Lopez vs. Edis Tatli

Felix Verdejo vs. Bryan Vasquez