Khan Must Beware
There’s no other career like boxing.
To get on in this job you have to step over other people and not just metaphorically. Until the day arrives when you find you’re the one looking up at the other guy stepping over you.
To paraphrase the cliché applied to England football games, there’s no such thing as an easy boxing match. And every boxer is but a millisecond away from eating a lucky punch that could alter everything for the worse.
Yes, unlike football, in boxing you might not only lose, but do so in such a way that part of your life-force is beaten out of you. Next thing you know, you’re not the fighter you used to be.
All these kinds of things must be buzzing around the mind of Amir Khan.
His problem? No obvious way forward.
Despite a social media campaign verging on the hysterical, Britain’s former light-welterweight champion was unable to goad Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr. into choosing him as his next opponent.
Instead the 28-year old Khan has to look on as Mayweather fights Manny Pacquaio.
With his preferred opponents no longer on his immediate horizon, a couple potentially lethal fighters are tugging at the Bolton-born Pakistani’s shirt-tail.
One is IBF Welterweight champ Kell Brook, via manager Barry Hearn who is agitating as only he can for a summer meeting, according to sources including The Independent’s Frank Warren.
Brook has an appointment in Sheffield three weeks from now against top ranked IBF contender Jo Jo Dan.
Meanwhile, unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (24-0) is eyeing Brook for a unification bout. Thurman would also love to fight Khan – a fact he’s making known with public slurs on Amir’s ability through people like boxingnews24.com ‘s Scott Gilfoid
First Thurman also has a previous date: he meets Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand tonight – a fight that some pundits believe is too close to call. Durable 31 year old Californian southpaw Guerrero is a step up in class for Thurman and he would do well to keep all his focus on Vegas tonight.
Khan still has plenty of cachet: he recently drew nearly seven million viewers to their TV screens despite the late-night UK start time. Cachet enough to propel a contender like a Brook or a Thurman to the very top.
They probably shouldn’t get their hopes up: a more compelling choice for Khan may be a spot on the mega-fight undercard against a slightly less dangerous opponent; Khan isn’t likely to allow a loss – or even a war – to derail his shortest available route to top of the mountain.
Though he failed to get Mayweather to pick him over Pacquaio, Khan’s prospective value on the May 2 undercard may give him the leverage to pre-empt any talk of ‘Money v Manny II, The Re-Match’ before the winner has stepped into the ring with him.
Gilfoid is very critical of the way Khan’s advisor Al Haymon “doesn’t want to match Khan against the dangerous guys”
and believes it’s stopping the Boltonian from developing the kind of reputation in the US that would have gotten him in the ring with Mayweather.
On the basis that Floyd has patiently waited eight whole years for Pacquaio to stumble seemingly way past his prime, logic suggests that nothing would have made Mayweather less likely to fight Khan than for Amir to have demolished all-comers.
By Stan Wenners.
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