Khan v Mayweather? Speed The Answer To Mayweather Conundrum?
With the widely speculated news that Amir Khan could be in place for a shot at pound for pound for king Floyd Mayweather it is time to assess the legitimacy of this fight.
Amir ‘King’ Khan aged 27 is a former WBA and IBF Light Welterweight world champion and until a couple of years ago was touted as one of the stars of the sport with his blistering hand-speed and attacking prowess.
Khan’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years following defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. The Peterson fight was a tough gruelling fight in which in my humble opinion Khan should have been given the decision for.
The Peterson fight in December of 2011 was full of controversy with Khan having points deducted for pushing and for hitting on the break. These seemed extremely harsh calls from referee Joe Cooper and cost Khan the fight via a split decision victory to Peterson.
Following the fight accusations of improper behaviour from officials broke out with evidence of a man interfering with the judges’ scorecards present. The man identified was an affiliate of the IBF but should have had no role with the scorecards. In light of this evidence a rematch was ordered but Peterson failed a drug test and the legitimacy of his performance against Khan had since come under question.
The loss to Danny Garcia was not controversial but still a shock to many. Khan went into the fight as the favourite and started very well landing quick, flashy combinations. Khan was to suffer from his attacking talent this night though as he neglected his defences. Khan was knocked down 3 times in the fight before the referee stepped in to end the fight in the 4th round.
Khan was very brave in getting back up and showed true heart to keep on wanting to fight but that heart cost him. Khan should not have got up and tried to engage in toe to toe battle with Garcia when he was clearly hurt. He should have taken time to try and settle down and spoil Garcia’s work.
Some question Khan’s chin as a result of this loss but there is nothing wrong with his chin at all. He has taken big shots from Marcos Maidana who is well known to be a big puncher and was not knocked out. Khan’s problem is not his chin but his lack of defensive technique. Khan has tried to work on this with trainer Virgil Hunter but his fight with Julio Diaz in April of 2013 did little to silence the critics. Khan was knocked down in the 4th before coming back to claim a unanimous decision.
Khan stuck to a game-plan for parts of the fight but at times went back to what comes naturally to him and that is to be an all-out attacking boxer. Khan has had plenty of time to work with trainer Virgil Hunter since then and I’m sure that he is a more complete boxer as a result.
In terms of a fight with Mayweather the two names being mentioned are Khan and Marcos Maidana. Maidana is a tough Argentine who recently claimed a brilliant victory of hotly tipped future pound for pound contender Adrien Broner.
Maidana’s style is unlikely to prove any issues to Mayweather though. He is a tough but slow boxer who likes to come forward and dominate his opponent. This is unlikely to work against a slick operator like Mayweather. If Mayweather was to fight Maidana than I think a very one sided points victory would be the outcome. I just don’t believe that Maidana has anything to cause Mayweather problems.
The problem is that perhaps barring Manny Pacquaio there is no one out there who can really cause Mayweather real problems. Khan would present a new challenge for Mayweather in terms of speed.
Khan’s combination punches are thrown at blistering speed and it would make for fascinating viewing to see how Mayweather would cope with this speed. Many though that size and strength was the way to beat Mayweather but that was proven to be wrong in the fight with Canelo. Mayweather was utterly dominant against a much younger, unbeaten opponent who had natural advantages over him.
I fully understand the criticism of Khan and suggestions that he has done nothing to deserve a shot at Mayweather but Khan would represent a new style that we haven’t seen Mayweather face for a long time.
Khan raw speed and combination punching has the potential to cause Mayweather problems but if he would actually be able to pull off a victory is another question. Khan has received a lot of criticism over the last couple of years with much of it being undue. He is an exciting fighter who has achieved a lot already in his career. Khan has great natural talent and has the ability to cause anyone problems.
I personally hope that Khan is picked as Mayweather next opponent as the fight will be exciting. Yes Khan is unlikely to win against the remarkable Floyd Mayweather but who is there to beat him? Floyd Mayweather stands at the top of the sport a level above anyone else out there and is likely to dominate anyone who he is put in with.
The likes of Danny Garcia and Timothy Bradley may be more deserving of the opportunity but both have fights lined up. Garcia is still campaigning at Light Welterweight and Bradley is already in a huge fight against former foe Manny Pacquaio.
Amir Khan v Floyd Mayweather: Is speed the answer to the Floyd Mayweather conundrum?