Khan’s Right: On Paper He Is A Match For Crawford, But…

By Paul Magno on April 8, 2019
Khan’s Right: On Paper He Is A Match For Crawford, But…
Khan is a fighter who has always been less than the sum of his mega-impressive parts.

At 32 years of age, Khan isn’t going to be changing anything about who he is or how he goes about his prizefighting business…

If fights were contested on paper, Amir Khan would be the hands-down favorite to beat Terence Crawford this coming April 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Khan is taller, naturally bigger, quicker, and, arguably, more athletic. He’s also the more experienced of the two with a deeper overall résumé and more actual time spent as a full-fledged welterweight.

Listen to the hype leading up to Crawford-Khan and you may even be tempted to start thinking aloud, “Yeah…they make a good point. Crawford’s got his work cut out for him.”

“His last three opponents (José Benavidez, Jeff Horn and Julius Indongo) I would have beat easy,” Khan recently told the Guardian.

“The only opponent of his you could pick out is Breidis Prescott (who knocked Khan out in 2008) and that was late in Prescott’s career. I would have destroyed Prescott if I’d fought him then. Crawford’s taking a big step up against me. Compare his résumé to mine and I am light years ahead.”

And, as for Khan’s hand speed?

“It’s definitely a big factor,” Khan added. “I don’t think he can deal with my speed. He has never faced anyone as quick as me.”

Hmmm…Maybe.

Except, we’re talking about Amir Khan—a fighter who has always been less than the sum of his mega-impressive parts.

Khan has underwhelmed since winning a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics as a 17-year-old wunderkind. Blessed with supreme hand and foot speed, thudding power, and world class athleticism, the native of Bolton, Lancashire, UK has never quite put it all together into the type of cohesive unit many thought he would become.

Stalled by a first-round blow-out loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008 and completely derailed by a fourth round TKO against Danny Garcia in 2012, Khan’s career has been uneven and, ultimately, disappointing. Even in victory, Khan has failed to live up to his full potential. In 2010, against heavy-handed Argentine Marcos Maidana, for instance, Khan dazzled early on and then ran for dear life in the second half of their bout, buzzed and afraid, barely holding on to take a close unanimous decision.

After a decade in the business, 2015 appeared to be the year Khan stopped even pretending to try and be the fighter he should’ve become in favor of loading his pockets with as much nest egg retirement money he could possibly grab. He signed on as a human sacrifice to middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2016, then signed up with former archenemy Eddie Hearn for a three-fight deal that teased at delivering blockbusters, but only spawned two duds against journeymen and the B-side outsourcing against Crawford this coming April 20.

At 32 years of age, Khan isn’t going to be changing anything about who he is or how he goes about his prizefighting business, although he’ll swear reform and rededication before each ring appearance.

The sad thing is that he WILL be coming into the ring against Crawford with so many “on paper” advantages, so many reasons why he could possibly walk away with a victory, but most will still (rightfully) consider him a no-hoper.

In boxing, physical talent will get you far, but there’s nothing that trumps hunger, determination, and hard-earned skill culled from hours of serious, serious gym work.

Terence Crawford is a hungry, mean-spirited, ambitious competitor who has worked to acquire the most complete skill set in the sport and, like many other sports greats, is obsessed with conquest. Khan is not any of that. Khan doesn’t have a chance.

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  1. james 11:43am, 04/17/2019

    I have been watching boxing for decades. I would never even consider PPV for this fight. Khan’s best years are past him. He never lived up to his own hype. Even God cant save the queen in this spot.

  2. Lucas McCain 11:54am, 04/11/2019

    By the way—the much-hated Dan Rafael reported that Ali’s 1964 gloves sold for over K800, but I can’t find any mention of Sonny’s gloves selling: 

    https://sports.ha.com/itm/boxing-collectibles/memorabilia/1964-sonny-liston-fight-worn-gloves-from-first-cassius-clay-bout/a/7130-80064.s

    If they did, I hope they went to a forensics expert, who might find molecule or two that would tell us what exactly the big guy had Polino rub on them before the fifth round (“I can’t see!”)

  3. Lucas McCain 10:00am, 04/11/2019

    Re. Bay Area Bands—Country Joe and the Fish was a great psychedelic band even though their protest was more famous (as was their cheer, “give me an F”)
    As for flags, like all symbols, they change their significance by context and overt intention; the swastika, thousands of years old and found in American ruins (and early advertising!), is only the most obvious example. From my point of view, it’s not irrational or snow-flaky to take offense when offense is intended, though that still leaves interpretive leeway. 

    And by the way, as a fan of rising sun symbols, you might have seen that Sonny Liston’s robe for the Feb 1964 fight vs. (still) Clay—which featured a half-sun with simplified beams—sold for (if I recall correctly) around $40,000.  The only relic from that era that really interests me is the Round 1 placard from Ali-Liston 2, Lewiston, Maine, which was put on display a couple of years ago when Lewiston celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the bout, but without any mention if it was for sale (fortunately).

  4. Chooglin' On Down To New Orleans 07:07am, 04/11/2019

    Lucas McCain… The Union Flag aka Union Jack has always been my favorite. Three other cool looking flags IMO are of course Old Glory, the Confederate flag and the Rising Sun flag used by Japan in WWII. Eighties English rocker, Billy Idol, used to always display the Confederate flag on his guitar and/or somewhere on his body. Can’t imagine him doing that today, the snowflakes would have a nervous breakdown. Good ole CCR, another great band from the Bay Area, like the Doobies and Journey. Fogerty and Company, had me thinking they were from the Bayou for years. haha.

  5. Lucas McCain 04:31am, 04/11/2019

    So Chooglin,’ are you saying that, despite your Creedence name you are going with the Brit Invasion here?

  6. Chooglin' On Down To New Orleans 01:35pm, 04/10/2019

    The only interesting thing about this fight is which country has the coolest looking flag. Hmm, it’s a close one, both are two of the best looking flags around, but I gotz to go with the Union Jack.

  7. Pete The Sneak 04:21am, 04/10/2019

    Have to concur with snowflake…This would have been a really nice TV fight and probably would have garnered much more attention viewing wise as most boxing fans would have definitely tuned in to see if Khan has any answers for an elite fighter such as Bud… But our curiosity only goes so far ($$$)... PPV? Ni pal carajo! (no way in hell)...Peace.

  8. Thrashem 03:07pm, 04/09/2019

    Kahn will be retired after this fight. It will be what Pacman did to Del la Hoya. Total mismatch, match should not have happened and nothing worth viewing. Haven’t heard anyone lately say” Boy would I ever like to see a Kahn fight” Back to your reruns boys!

  9. Koolz 12:17pm, 04/09/2019

    my post never showed up…strange.
    Would love to see Khan pull this off!

  10. snowflake 10:28am, 04/09/2019

    “What is his best win? Maidana back at 140 off the top of my head.”

    Definitely Maidana. It’s a good win even with the running and it aged well after Chino knocked AB around and gave Floyd hell in the first fight. If you were to look at their styles and their later fights and guess the result of that contest you’d pick Chino all day. It’s the only reason Khan is still able to be considered anywhere near ‘elite’

    This would be a good TV fight but it’s a joke of a ppv, as has been the rule this year. Oh well…

  11. The Tache 07:20am, 04/09/2019

    You haven’t been able to take Khan seriously for years. Better resume, yeah ok, better names maybe but he lost to them. What is his best win? Maidana back at 140 off the top of my head. He seems to have spent years chasing money fights with Pacquiao and Mayweather while dodging the obvious big fight (domestically at least) with Brook. Even at this stage of their careers I reckon that would fill a small stadium and generate some PPV buys, but Khan waited until Brook moved up in weight before making noise about it. He’s a deluded, mouthy twat who has never lived up to his potential. I’m British and I still hope Crawford retires him.

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