Hello. I’m converting this blog to a boxing one because that’s all I really write about anyway. Music writing is for the most part dull and I’ve been getting to hardcore records a year too late for anyone to care, if they ever did, which they didn’t. This past weekend’s fight in which Julio Caesar Chavez Jr quit on his stool and boosted Andy Fonfara to top light heavy contender status inspired me to think of other easy marks in boxing. These are the low risk, high reward fighters that are waiting for someone to expose them as either finished, peaked or overhyped. Recent examples include the aforementioned JCC jr, Sergio Martinez, Adrien Broner (who, as I’ll explain later, still has shine to rub) and to a lesser extent Erislandy Lara. So who out there is ripe for the picking? Who can provide the engine for someone’s star vehicle without denting the body? First up: Amir Khan.
Where the Fighter Stands
Khan returned from his second KO loss sporting a jittery style (prime example was against Luis Collazo) conveying that he was just as cognizant of his fragile chin as the fans. He rushed into ugly holds and avoided stepping in to throw combinations lest there be an exchange he’d have to survive. His refusal to even contemplate a redo of his three defeats signals a fear of getting knocked out and his choice of light hitting Devon Alexander and now the completely manufactured threat of Chris Algieri, only leads one to assume that Amir Khan knows he’s a limited fighter navigating the top end of the welterweight division. To my eye I see a boxer with lightning quick hands, little power, basic footwork and movement, and most prominently, a woeful chin.
So what’s the reward of fighting Khan? One only has to read recent Kell Brook interviews to find out. Khan is loved and loathed in Britain and a fight with Brook would in all likelihood be a sell out for two fighters that don’t draw particularly well on their own. Although Khan has his losses, he also has a victory over Marcos Maidana, which is impressive considering Maidana’s schadenfreude laden victory over Adrien Broner and his near spoiler performance that was rewarded with a sequel against the nominal top man in the sport, the loathsome Floyd Mayweather. Anyway, it just goes to say that Khan, despite some higher profile losses, still retains some credibility. A thorough undressing in the ring by Kell could rocket Brook to the forefront of the division and demonstrate to boxing fans that he may be the complete package. Also, with Khan currently not fighting anyone of significance and rubbing fans the wrong way with incessant interviews opining about fights he is not a part of, he is perceived as a cowardly, braggart heel. Everybody likes to see an arrogant loud mouth shut up and there will be a significant folk hero status attached to the man that can do it (again), much the same as Maidana’s popularity rose after causing Broner to run from the ring with tears in his eyes.
In the ring Khan won’t knock out a top fighter and he has a bomb scare chin that could look really nice in a youtube hype video if someone tags it again. He’s fast but not particularly defensive; any fighter with a chin, decent speed, some power and confidence could beat Khan. Or even a fighter without those things could do it too (Briedis Prescott). Also you won’t be hounded for a rematch should you win close, or even controversially.
The risks are few when fighting Khan. The worst in ring result would be that he outlands his opponent and wins a boring decision, only to emphasize his self inflated importance to the sport afterwards. He also may not draw much interest (which may be a good thing if the prospective opponent were to lose) and the fight would almost certainly be the first fight in a two fight doubleheader or promoted on the forgettable (despite what we’re told are decent ratings) PBC cards (on Spike I’m sure). However, a loss to Khan places a fighter in the dreaded ‘jobber’ category (sorry Devon Alexander, but it appears you’ve hit your ceiling, at least you have your boat).
In a perverse way it’s as though Khan knows that he’s a potential low risk high reward target. He’s seemingly offering his services as a pedestrian loss or potential highlight reel KO to the highest bidder. It makes sense from the cringeworthy ‘business perspective’ as he’s an easy title defense for the Mayweather-Pacquiao winner, or a relatively light bounce-back but still respectable opponent for the loser. It’s as though Khan knows he has one or two big losses left in him, best to cash out now before his reputation and shine from his name cease to draw any water.
Who He’ll Avoid: Porter, Brook, Thurman, Bradley, Garcia, Provodnikov, Matthysse, Broner. Anybody that can hit and needs a push to be a star
Who he wants: Mayweather first, Manny second. Money and someone that doesn’t make you earn it with blood or brain cells.
What should happen: Fights Brook and shows that he’s fixed his problems with a win or lose and move on to full time gatekeeper status.