If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress View More
If you had to ask Amir Khan, he’d tell you that there’s nobody more suited to fight Floyd Mayweather than he is. Khan has told anybody willing to listen to him that he’s the right kind of wrong for Mayweather. He has speed, he has power, he has all the charisma and tools to make a fight with Mayweather a rough night that just absolutely has to happen.
Ricky Hatton managed to call out Mayweather to the point where it annoyed Mayweather into taking a fight with him, a fight Mayweather subsequently dominated and stopped Hatton late, but there is no mystery as to why Khan’s vociferous wailing hasn’t landed him the fight he so desperately craves.
Hatton was endeared by the public both in the UK and the US, had established himself as the best fighter at 140 pounds and made it very clear that he was the best opponent Mayweather had left to fight after his blockbuster versus Oscar De La Hoya. Khan, for the lack of better words, has been trying to make that claim for the better part of the last four years and is still trying to get his point across.
This Friday, Khan will once again try to convince the world that he is ready and deserving for the Mayweather finale when he finds himself across the hopelessly outclassed Chris Algieri in a PBC main event. Algieri made waves last year after winning the WBO Junior Welterweight title against Ruslan Provodnikov in a fight that featured Algieri running for his life after a brutal opening round and swatting Provodnikov enough times to win an extremely questionable decision. Midnight rung hard for Algieri, courtesy of six knockdowns in a hideous mismatch against Manny Pacquiao last year, which now leads to this Friday night.
Somehow, Khan believes that a win over an opponent that Pacquiao effortlessly obliterated will be enough, but he’s been wrong before.
Circa 2010, Khan was a force of nature and showed the form of a British dynamo that was poised to be boxing’s next pound for pound star. After being acquired by Golden Boy Promotions and set up with Freddie Roach following a disastrous 90 second knockout to an ill-advised handpicked opponent in Bredis Prescott, Khan didn’t take too long to run roughshod all over the Junior Welterweight division as Hatton did years prior.
His reign of terror included dominant victories against former champions and division hopefuls alike, as well as knockout wins over Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah. The prized win of his reign at 140 was over Marcos Maidana in a wild fight that saw the delicate chin of Khan survive a vicious late-fight assault from the tough Argentine to win a close decision. With Mayweather/Pacquiao stalling nearly two years in, Khan was becoming an increasingly logical choice to fight Mayweather and he started shouting his claim to the fight.
Things fell apart for him not too soon after. A tough decision loss to Lamont Peterson preceded an even tougher fourth round knockout loss to Danny Garcia, and in the span of seven months between December of 2011 and July of 2012, Khan saw his chances against Mayweather diminish as he quickly set to rebuild.
Khan separated from the offense-heavy Roach and paired with Virgil Hunter, who has taken full advantage of Khan’s prodigious boxing talent and has gone on a four fight win streak. Algieri, should he fall to Khan, will be the fourth former world champion in a row that Khan has defeated since linking up with Hunter and converting his buzz saw offense to a “punch n’ clutch” style to better protect his chin.
There was so much promise for Khan and his prodigious skill, and while still having one hell of a career, chasing Mayweather through hellfire and brimstone is preventing him from securing the greatness he feels is awaiting him. A Mayweather fight isn’t guaranteed, especially after a fight he’s all but expected to win, but Khan hasn’t exactly shown a great willingness to establish himself alongside his peers.
Garcia and Maidana still loom as top fighters, perhaps closer to another mega-fight than Khan at this point. There hasn’t been much of a peep from Khan when presented with a chance to challenge the new faces of the Welterweight division such as Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter or IBF Champion Kell Brook, who has been as rabid in calling out Khan as Khan has for Mayweather. Unfinished business with Timothy Bradley or Peterson could be addressed and settled once and for all. This can be Khan’s legacy instead of a potential loss to Mayweather at the end of his career.
Khan believes that his window to truly become great will close this September unless he is on the opposite side of the ring of the man he has chased for nearly half a decade, but he couldn’t be any further from the truth. The accomplishments that will crown Khan as a king is all around him, and if Mayweather has one foot out the door and is ready to let the new generation fight among themselves for dominance…maybe Khan should be just as ready to challenge them as he is the man he may just never catch.