Same old Khan

By Cain Bradley on May 1, 2018
Same old Khan
Khan never really met his immense potential. (Paul Greenwood/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock)

Khan has always promised much since his mightily impressive Olympic run. He looked like he could become a superstar…

Amir Khan got people talking with a brilliant knockout last weekend. He was a one man wrecking machine, taking out Phil Lo Greco with a fierce frenzy of fists. Phil Lo Greco is at least a tier below world level, but Khan stopped him quicker than Errol Spence and Shawn Porter only managed to get a decision victory. To some it was the “return of Khan,” a world class fighter fulfilling the promise he had shown at 17, when reaching the Olympic final. To me, it was the “same old Khan,” but that was not such a compliment.

Amir Khan has always had this in him. Even when he begun as a professional, he looked explosive against admittedly subpar opposition, better than his rivals often looked. The issue comes when he steps up his level of competition. Amir Khan has always had one fatal flaw, it has limited his career to just one world title. That flaw is his chin, which has been exposed three times. Once against Breidis Prescott, once against Danny Garcia and most recently Canelo Alvarez. All three are brutal to watch. As the old adage goes, you cannot teach a chin. Unfortunately that puts a limit on where Khan can get to. A poor chin can be negated to some extent by a brilliant defense but it has just never arrived for Khan and at 31 you worry it is too late.

Khan has always promised much, since that mightily impressive Olympic run which kickstarted a professional career which begun on ITV. Even for a while after the Prescott loss, he looked like he could become a superstar. He beat Marcos Maidana, taking some of the Argentinean’s best shots. Just as it looked like he could dominate the Light Welterweight division, he was upset by Lamont Peterson in a controversial decision before Danny Garcia separated him from his senses. He returned against a lesser level of competition, mainly winning comfortably before taking a risk in stepping up against Canelo Alvarez. He was boxing well, before Canelo detonated a right hand on his chin.

Khan is basically a top level boxer. He has been on top against world class opposition, including Marcos Maidana, Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez. Even Mayweather struggled with Maidana whilst Khan arguably looked as impressive as anyone against the other two. It is also why when he takes on these fringe gatekeepers he can dominate with ease. He is just that good.  Phil Lo Greco described him as better than Errol Spence! The only problem is that almost no one would pick him to beat Spence because of what happens if Spence lands. Danny Garcia said post fight, he thought he was fighting Superman for the first two rounds. It didn’t matter to Garcia, because he landed.

Khan will be hoping that he is young enough to change his legacy. At this point he will likely be remembered for not really meeting his immense potential, mainly due to a poor chin. It was exciting to see him finish Lo Greco so impressively but we did not learn anything new about Khan. Maybe over the next 12 months we will find out this isn’t the same old Khan.

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Amir Khan Vs Phil Lo Greco Full Fight Knockout 2018 HD

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  1. Cain Bradley 10:07am, 05/06/2018

    I do not mean Khan walked over Maidana. Simply stating that even Mayweather had trouble, so no one walks over him

  2. JamesSteele 08:30am, 05/06/2018

    Cain while you’re a little better than Paul Magno you both have a problem with accuracy in reporting. Khan was out on his feet against Maidana getting battered around while he was defenseless. To his credit he survived but got the poop kicked out of him. I don’t understand why you say that Mayweather “struggled” with Maidana but are you saying Khan didn’t??

  3. The Beast of Bodmin 02:43pm, 05/01/2018

    @ Cain
    I think we would both agree that with a higher boxing IQ he could have achieved a lot more in his career. Even if he fought Brook now it would be seen that Brook was diminished by the GGG and Spence beatings, Khan waited until he moved up in weight etc, etc.
    I’ve never understood either why he stands and trades when he has a dodgy chin. With a better mentality the question of his potential may have been answered by now, as it is, it’s a matter of woulda, coulda, shoulda and I doubt we will ever know.
    Shame really.

  4. Cain Bradley 12:43pm, 05/01/2018

    All very fair points. A good defence could in part nullify his bad chin. He either doesn’t have it in him to be a good defender or does not work enough at it. I think it is more the first than second. His natural inclination is to stand and throw which for a boxer like him makes no sense to me.

    I do wonder how different things could/should have been for him

  5. The Beast of Bodmin 12:16pm, 05/01/2018

    I think Khan has never reached his potential because of his attitude rather than his chin. Obviously his chin is his weakest point but as the writer points out, you can’t train a chin. Therefore the resilience of his beard forms part of his potential.
    I have always thought that Khan has hampered himself by thinking he is better than he is, a bigger star than he is and his inability to box a whole fight playing to his strengths. Even when he is outboxing people you know he can’t resist trying to prove his macho qualities and sooner or later he gets clipped.
    Added to too many inactive years chasing fights with Mayweather and Pacquiao what we are left with is a fighter whose best win is still against Maidana. Even though Kell Brook has had his face broken twice, Khan still doesn’t seem overly keen on that fight, despite it being the biggest available for about the last 3 years.
    On the bright side, his mix of speed and vulnerability makes him good to watch.

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