Former world junior welter weight (140 pounds) king Amir “King” Khan wants everyone to believe that he is the most worthy challenger for undefeated welterweight (147 pounds) champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. Englishman Khan ardently believes that his speed and boxing skills will get him past the equally slippery Mayweather Jr. in the event they end up swapping mitts in the ring. There is no doubt that Khan is talented, but his abject failure to overcome two glaring chinks in his armor keeps him from being recognized as a genuine threat to Mayweather Jr.
Two particular weak points come to mind: Khan’s chin and his propensity to melt like butter in the desert whenever he takes part in a highly publicized showdown. The prevailing opinion is that when faced with a no-nonsense pressure fighter with a bone-crunching punch, Khan will look good in the early rounds then capitulate in the homestretch.
Khan was looked upon as a fistic prodigy since he started punching holes in a sandbag at age 11. At 17, he became the youngest British fighter to win an Olympic medal when he bagged a silver in the 2004 Athens Games. Khan went undefeated in his first 18 fights as a professional fighter before he fell like the London Bridge opposite Breidis Prescott in September 2008. Khan came out cocky and paid dearly for it as he was knocked out by Prescott 54 seconds into the first round.
Khan’s chin has since been stamped with the words “fragile, handle with care.” While he was able to regroup and win the World Boxing Association junior welterweight title in July 2009, Khan’s chin almost betrayed him again when he faced Argentinean mauler Marcos Maidana in December 2010. Khan floored Maidana in the opening round with a debilitating body shot, but the latter roared back and almost toppled Khan in the 10th stanza with a barrage of punches. Khan escaped with a decision win, but not a few thought he was lucky to keep the belt.
Khan lost his hold on the junior welterweight crown in December 2011 when he dropped a close decision to Lamont Peterson. While the result was treated with contempt, Khan completely unravelled in his very next outing against American Danny “Swift” Garcia. Facing the undefeated Garcia in a high-profile showdown, Khan was knocked down three times and stopped in 4 rounds.
Khan has since won 4 straight fights, but the results have been anything but spectacular. He has moved up in weight and is booked to face his third welterweight opponent in Chris Algieri. Algieri (20-1, 8 knockouts) was the same feather-fisted guy who was repeatedly floored by Manny Pacquiao in November 2014. Algieri has a new trainer in former junior middleweight/middleweight champion John David Jackson and is promising an impressive showing against Khan. However, the way ring experts describe it, Algieri was simply handpicked to keep Khan in the Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes.
Khan, 30-3 with 19 knockouts, is likely to breeze past Algieri in a fight that could be a stinker because of Algieri’s hit and run tactics. Khan is raising the clarion and telling everyone that he is a stronger fighter physically and mentally at 147 pounds, but Algieri is hardly the fighter who will validate such claim. The confirmation will come by the end of the year when Khan gets a shot at Mayweather Jr. Can Khan really dig it? Your guess is as good as mine.
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