Having just seen Juan Urango get stopped by Devon Alexander the question on my lips is, “Will Amir Khan ever man up?”
Usually the reply from Khanites is “he’s still young” or “he’s just won the title” or something about “give him time”. Thing is he’s been given time and he’s only faced one note worthy opponent at a weight they were suitable at. In 4 and a half years he has fought Andriy Kotelnik, a solid and dependable but limited fighter who was far from a puncher, and Marco Antonio Barrera (at a weight Barrera should never have made and was 35 at the time).
So Amir when will you man up?
Many fans are saying “he’s only just won the title” but sadly he is in the most talent laden division in world boxing right now, it mixes every style of fighter and if he intends to make a name for himself he has to use that title to get fights with other fighters in the division. A division that packs both talented veterans (Ricky Hatton, Joel Casamayor, Nate Campbell and Junior Witter) and youthful fighters (Khan himself, Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz, Denis Shafikov and Fariz Kazimov) are all 24 years old or younger.
The division has it’s sluggers in Urango and Maidana, it’s all action man in Timothy Bradley (generally regarded as the best), pure boxers in Alexander and runners in Malignaggi. Sadly rather than making an impact on his US debut Khan persists in avoiding his problems and facing Malignaggi, a fighter he has all the main advantages over. Paulie can’t punch for toffee and sadly everyone knows it. Khan might be talented but by fighting Malignaggi he’s not manning up, in fact he’s acting more like a prissy princess running from anyone with a punch to instead fight a noted none puncher.
Next in line for Amir Khan once he gets past Paulie will be Yosukezan Onodera (20-1-1 with 8KO’s), Cesar Rene Cuenca (37-0-0-1 with just 1 KO) and Willy Blain (21-1-0 with 3KO’s). Hey look at this I should be a Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker for Amir Khan. Sadly it’s true we have more chance of seeing Khan v Cuenca than Khan v Alexander for now, though we can also rule out Urango and Maidana.
Khan “man up”? Don’t be silly, he’s still “only a boy”. Least that what we are told for criticising a 23 year old who’s had 23 professional contests and has so far faced just 1 puncher in a division full of solid hitters. Names like Maidana (27-1 26KO’s), Urango (22-3-1 17KO’s), Ortiz (26-2-1 21KO’s) and Lucas Martin Matthysse (26-0 24KO’s) are all ignored even though (especially in Matthysse’s case) they are there to be beaten. Funny thing to those excusing him because he’s a “boy” both Ortiz and Alexander are younger. Ortiz had faced (though lost to) Maidana, Carlos Maussa (who had 18 KO’s in his 20 wins) and is now lined up to face Nate Campbell. Whilst Alexander has just beaten in his first defence of his WBC title Juan Urango, having also beaten Junior Witter to win the WBC title. Being a “boy” doesn’t cut it. Amir Khan or Amere Khon? I’m not decided.