Amir Khan (26-1) attempts to take a further step deeper into the upper echelons of the sport of boxing when he
does battle with Lamont Peterson (29-1-1) in Washington, D.C. Saturday. The implications & upside for the Bolton born boxer could be significant with a clash with Floyd Mayweather transitioning from the theoretical to the logical possibility. Whether that is a cherry Mayweather decides to pick, though, could well be dependent on Khan winning – but not magnanimously. The 24 year old’s hand-speed is tracer-bullet stuff & you’d imagine that under the tutelage of a trainer who has had a game-plan to tackle the Mayweather threat in the works for years now he’d have as decent a chance as any to end the unbeaten professional record of Floyd Mayweather.
Khan is facing no cardboard cutout in the likewise once beaten Lamont Peterson. Peterson enjoys a three inch reach advantage over Khan; this despite the Bolton 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist standing an inch taller than his American opponent. The path Amir Khan’s career is likely to take assuming he is able to see off the expected spirited challenge of a very game & capable opponent Saturday has me pondering the benefits the sport might derive from having a sanctioning body installed solely & with exclusive mandate on the Pound for Pound rankings.
Cold War Storm with Timothy Bradley
This is far more than a stepping stone fight for the 24 year old Britain; though it is one whose result & the manner
in which it is achieved is sure to have lasting ramifications on Amir Khan’s career trajectory & the ultimate direction of the 140 to 154lbers as a subset of the sport in the short to medium term. A resounding victory for Freddie Roach‘s second most famous charger does as much as set up a showdown with Money Mayweather; whilst anything less would probably result in that match-up becoming another entrant into boxing’s long line of mythical debates that coulda, woulda, shoulda but ultimately never happened. Should we never be graced with a Mayweather vs. Khan one might come to view the Mayweather era as neatly delineated by the hoopla of Naseem Hamed & the seemingly more substantive & productive yield of Amir “King” Khan.
Personally the fight I most long to see Khan in is a re-match; & no not with that study in pugilistic inconsistency otherwise known as Breidis Prescott. A re-match with the fighter he stopped in the second round of their meeting as amateurs, one Victor Ortiz. The budding trifecta of Khan-Ortiz-Maidana is as an appetizing threesome of bad intentions as the sport has to throw up at the minute. For me, at least, this is Tim Bradley‘s party to crash – the onus is on Desert Storm to enter the conversation – Bradley needs Khan more than Khan requires Bradley as it stands.
The substantial & ultimately inglorious shadow of Prince Naseem Hamed is one Khan, via a combination of congeniality, pure boxing talent & the stubborn willingness to overcome adversity that is a hallmark of all revered ring champions is fast vanquishing. Khan’s masterstroke – and one I hope more British & European fighters will take heed of & utilize as a blueprint – was his preparedness to up sticks & both train & perform professionally in the de facto capital of world boxing (the United States) from a comparatively early stage in his career.
Matt Hamilton, for ESNews Reporting!
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