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Khan entering choppy waters

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Ben Dirs | 16:25 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

Amir Khan referred to himself as a businessman quite a few times during our conversation a few weeks back, so I've been more than a little surprised by his rather unbusinesslike behaviour of late.

Racy magazine interviews with Piers Morgan, allegations of lewd texts and photos (allegations that haven't been denied), Twitter attacks on fellow British boxers - it's hardly surprising somebody's belatedly told him to switch his gadgets off.

"There are no distractions and I can focus a bit easier," the 23-year-old Khan told BBC Sport ahead of his US debut and WBA light-welterweight defence against Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday.

Khan and Malignaggi fight in New York on Saturday Khan and Malignaggi fight at Madison Square Garden theatre on Saturday

"When I get time off in the evening I go to the mall or the pictures or chill out with a walk on the beach or the promenade. You can't do that in Bolton.

"The normal public over here don't know me whereas back in England it's different. Over here I'm left alone and I can do the things I want to do."

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, this isn't a snide attack on a fine British talent - boys will be boys, especially when they're millionaire sportsboys, and how many of us wish we were one of them? But you have to wonder about the advice he's been getting, if any, since he upped sticks and made his permanent base in the United States.

When Khan talks of "being pulled left, right and centre" back in the UK, perhaps he's referring to his former promoter Frank Warren's hand on the tiller, the sort of steady hand that appears to have been lacking of late.

Khan says he split from Warren in January purely for boxing reasons, calling Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions an outfit capable of taking him "to the next level", and with feted trainer Freddie Roach in his corner and five-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao as a gym-mate, you can't really question his logic.

"Maybe Frank could have taken me to the next level, but I think I need someone with American experience," said Khan, who fights former world champion Malignaggi at New York's Madison Square Garden, although not in the main arena, but the theatre next door.

"There are no hard feelings [towards Warren], it's a business, and I'm sure Frank treats it as a business. I thought the best move was to leave Frank and come to America, so that's what I did. You can't just make moves to keep friendships.

"The biggest fights are over here and once you're recognised as a great fighter in America you're recognised as a great fighter all over the world."

Khan calls Roach, whose comforting arms he fell into following the shocking 54-second defeat at the hands of Breidis Prescott in 2008, a "father figure" and says he's "one of the main reasons I've got so far in the game".

The evidence so far suggests Roach has made Khan a more complete fighter, adding a cool head and a tighter defence to the heavy-hitting and blistering speed that already existed.

Yet the doubts about Khan will remain until he steps into the ring with one of the 140lb division's bigger punchers. Kevin Mitchell, who fights Michael Katsidis for the WBO interim lightweight crown in London earlier on Saturday, has accused his domestic rival of running scared, but it is a charge Khan vehemently denies.

"I was going to fight Marcos Maidana [Khan's mandatory challenger, who has 28 wins and 27 knockouts from 29 fights], but it's a business and the money just wasn't coming off," said Khan, who has just one defeat in 22.

Juan Manuel Marquez pulled out a week after we started negotiating, and then came Malignaggi, who can sell a fight and who's a bigger name than Maidana in America.

"But the only way to prove the critics wrong is to fight the winner of Maidana and [WBC title-holder] Timothy Bradley [who are due to meet later this year], that would be a big fight for me and that would shut a lot of critics up."

There are certainly an awful lot of critics to silence, not least the motor-mouthed Malignaggi, who claims the champion is his most hated opponent as well voicing concerns about performance-enhancing drugs being used in the sport. For the record Khan said he would be happy to be tested at any time.

And whereas the Khan of a few months ago might have shrugged and trotted out something about doing his fighting in the ring, or some such platitude, the new, flintier Khan is bristling with intent.

"A lot of people want to see him beat properly because he keeps shouting his mouth off," said Khan. "I'll sort him out and be the guy to take him out of the sport."

This brasher version of Khan might not appeal to some, but being humble and squeaky clean earned him the opprobrium of many back in his homeland. Booed when he was winning, laughed at when he lost, two more reasons to fly the nest.

Khan should have too much power for the light-punching Malignaggi, despite the American's claims he is a rejuvenated fighter since losing handily to Manchester's Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas in 2008.

After Saturday night the waters will become frothier, with American paymasters HBO looking to match him hard and his rivals, no doubt envious of this upstart in their midst, keen to cash in on the back of his fame. Let's hope those close to him can keep him on the straight and narrow, in and out of the ring.

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about at http://twitter.com/bendirs1

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Malignaggi went 12 rounds with Cotto at his peak. It would be foolish to read too much into the Hatton fight - that wasn't Malignaggi in there. Watch Paulie against Juan Diaz on youtube. He is a top 10 fighter. If Khan wins by any method, it's a good result. If he stops him, he deserves a lot of praise.

  • Comment number 2.

    Do you think this is a "coming of age" fight Ben? I only say this because Malignaggi has been in with some great names and hasn't disgraced himself. Even against Hatton he didn't really show up. Khan really needs to do a job on him to make Britain sit up and notice because the overwhelming opinion is that Khan doesn't have the chin to stand up the real punchers in the division. Britain will only remember his complete collapse against Prescott and, as we know, the British public take a while to forgive and forget such things (I say forget and forgive because of the arrogance demonstrated in the build up to the Prescott fight only to then capitulate in the ring).

  • Comment number 3.

    I've only seen Malignaggi fight Hatton and I wasn't too impressed, though I have to admit I haven't watched any of his fights since. However, I think Khan will beat him reasonably easily. I also think that he was possibly weight drained fighting at light weight, he looks far more comfortable at light welterweight and seems to be able to take a punch now. The lad's only 23 and has, possibly, another 10 years fighting left in him, so he's got plenty of time to prove himself.

    As for being arrogant, I really don't understand where this comes from. I spend a lot of time looking at boxing websites and I've only ever heard him be respectful of his opponents. Fighters like Carl Froch, David Haye, Nigel Benn, Lennox Lewis, any American boxer you care to name were and are far more arrogant than Khan and yet they never get any of the opprobrium levelled at them that he does. Can anyone give me one cast iron reason why he is considered more arrogant than any other British boxer? Please don't provide the usual rubbish about him not having proved himself at this level again, like I said above, he's young, has time on his side, plus he's improving all the time. Can't we for once be happy we have a truly exciting, gifted British boxer who could be of the best in years to come?

  • Comment number 4.

    that's because Khan has not achieved anything close to what they have.

  • Comment number 5.

    "I was going to fight Marcos Maidana [Khan's mandatory challenger, who has 28 wins and 27 knockouts from 29 fights], but it's a business and the money just wasn't coming off,"

    This comment for me kind of illustrates why Amir isn't as well liked or respected as other British fighters. If he wants to prove he isn't a fighter that has been spoon fed hand-picked opponents to flesh out his record, he needs to stop focusing on whether or not the money balances out and concentrate on taking on fights that would be far more eye-catching in the boxing world.

    If he beats Malinaggi, nobody will really bat an eyelid as Khan is very much expected to win. If he fought and beat Maidana, a very hard-hitting, promising fighter, I think a lot more people would sit up and take notice. Hell, perhaps more people would respect the guy a little more because of it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Can anyone give me one cast iron reason why he is considered more arrogant than any other British boxer?
    ************************************
    Stating he was beyond the likes of domestic rivals Thaxton and Murray whilst withdrawing from purse bids to face then champ Thaxton then being involved in a life or death struggled with (by his own admission) a four round fighter in Michael Gomez. Khan may have beaten both Murray and Thaxton but the only way to prove it was to do it. He was claiming to be World Class whilst not yet having proved to be the best fighter in Lancashire/Greater Manchester. Beating an aged half-blind, two weights and ten years beyond his best Barrera and proclaiming it proof of his World Class status two fights after being annihilated by the unheralded and done nothing since Prescott.
    Wow, he's fighting in America...something Murray has already done and with rave reviews as I recall.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think people are looking at this the wrong way round. It makes a lot more sense to fight Malignaggi before fighting Maidana - not just from a financial point of view.

    Everyone knows Khan has a suspect chin; personally, I don't think you can change this so he needs to work on his defense and is taking time doing so against fighters (and in Malignaggi a very good fighter)who aren't going to expose his chin. I fully expect Khan to win on Sunday morning and then fight either Mitchell (if he can get a result himself on Saturday) or Maidana.

    If you are going to have a long, succesfull career in boxing, you need to take the right fights at the right time. Would Mayweather have such a faultless record had he fought Mosley five years ago? Would Calzhaghe have been undefeated had he fought Hopkins 5/10 years before he did?

    As much as the public like to see a 'people's champion' who will fight anyone, the facts tell the story: Mosely has taken all the big fights put in front of him but is now looking at a record with 6 defeats on it.

  • Comment number 8.

    As much as the public like to see a 'people's champion' who will fight anyone, the facts tell the story: Mosely has taken all the big fights put in front of him but is now looking at a record with 6 defeats on it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    But no-one doubts Shane's credibility either! Been there and done and, should he retire, can be confident he did damn near everything that there was to do in the Sport.
    Seems some feel it's more important to have a tiny number in the "L" column than have a resume that reads like a "Who's Who" of boxing.
    Doesn't matter if you lose, if you're a good fighter people will come and see you. Continually facing off against light hitters whilst actively avoiding guys who will provide a much needed and altogether sterner test isn't going to endear you to boxing fans.
    "Still, as long as the casual mugs will swallow the 'World Class' tag and put their hands in their pockets, who cares if it's a meaningful fight?" - FRANK WARREN

  • Comment number 9.

    Dave - I agree with you to a certain extent regarding fighters who spend their whole careers ducking opponents. But my point is that surely there is nothing wrong with taking the big fights at the right time? I think Mayweather would have struggled against Mosley five years ago, but I think that today's Mayweather would beat the Mosley of 2005. I would strongly criticise Khan if he didn't ever fight Maidana but I can't see it happenening. If he wins on Saturday night and then goes on to beat Maidana, shouldn't he be commended for structuring his career smartly? journeyman scrapping for title shots.

  • Comment number 10.

    Win-Win situation for Khan. Straightforward defence against a guy who has no punching power, but is still enough of a name for Khan to get recognition for beating him. Much better risk/reward than the Maidana fight. Still think Khan has the beating of Maidana, but it's too much of a gamble for less reward both financially and in terms of prestige.

    To all the idiots saying he's ducking big fights. I think in time you'll see him take on more top names, but every top fighter "ducks". It's the prerogative of the champ. It's all about taking fights on a risk/reward basis and being very pragmatic.

  • Comment number 11.

    "I Hope AMIR KHAN can fight as well as talk? The boxers today seem to be all world champions after a few hand picked fights on the T.V To be a {real boxer} takes' a lot lot, more Check out any BOXERS RECORD before you call him a Proper "CHAMP"

  • Comment number 12.

    But my point is that surely there is nothing wrong with taking the big fights at the right time?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sure, if all you want is a padded record and few quid in the bank. Ask Calzaghe. Timing is everything but it can bite you in the rear end if you're not careful. Plenty of fighters these days talking about their "legacy" without ever have compiled a resume that would stand up to scrutiny. They don't realise that their legacy can also be one of missed opportunities. Ask Calzaghe.
    Khan has Barrera's name on his record and they were talking about matching him with Morales at one point. Looks great to Mr "I don't know much about boxing but someone said they are good fighters" but even Amir's mum knows her son has MAB's name on his record and nothing more.
    I can just about accept Malignaggi as a viable opponent at this stage of Khan's career. He ticks a fair few boxes but in all honesty, he's the kind of fighter I'd liked to have seen Khan face BEFORE he got his hands on a World Title.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Tunes 666, as I said, he's a 23 year old lad who has a long career ahead of him. Carl Froch was incredibly arrogant in calling out Joe Calzaghe all the time and he'd achieved sweet F.A., but I've never ever read anything about him being arrogant.

    James, how the hell is that different to David Haye pulling out of the Klitscho fight because his Setanta deal fell through? Going by what you're saying, the likes of Haye should've fought for his reputatation and rpide over money. How is Khan different from any young, modern sportsman chasing the money today? How's he any different from any boxer fighting at the top level? These men put their heads on the line, so they have a right to expect to be paid well.

    Dave 669, Mitchell's been slagging Khan off ever since he beat Prescott, he was at it again this week saying that he won more amateur titles than Khan. Is he arrogant?

    Face it to it fella's, boxers have to sell fights, they have to be lippy little hard men, they have to walk the walk and talk the talk. I'm sure if you got most of them in a room by themselves, Khan included, they'd be reasonably nice, polite, hard working men who just happen to do something that the rest of us can't.

    Just stop getting on his back for doing what boxers do and give him some support.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think there is a big difference between Khan and Calzaghe. Calzaghe ducked the big fights for years and years and then took the big names when they were way past their prime. Khan didn't exactly have the opportunity to fight Barrera in his prime!

    I just think people should hold off their critisism until we see what happens on Saturday and in the weeks afterwards. If he does agree to fight Maidana next, I think it's fair to say the criticism is unjust. A 25 year old boxer who has Barrera, Malignaggi and Maidana (if it happens) on his resume in only 25 fights deserves a huge amount of credit in my opinion.

  • Comment number 16.

    Perhaps I'm just being a bitter boxing fan but for me, I want to see two exciting, heavy-hitting boxers put on a hell of a fight (Khan/Mitchell or Khan/Maidana) in much the same way I want to see Floyd and Manny trade punches and not see them just fight fighters we are all quite sure they will beat. As a boxing fan, I don't want to see Amir fight a light-hitting, defensive fighter in Malignaggi. Why would that be as entertaining for a spectator? The only prestige he gets from boxing experts for beating Paulie, I imagine, is a sort of 'well done, congrats, you won a fight everybody expected you to win. Ready for a real challenge yet?'

    If it's about sensible career structure for him, and about taking the fights only if he's ready to, then best of luck to him. I don't think he will be endeared to the boxing public for such a style, neither was 'Stay At Home Joe', but to be honest, I don't think he cares as long as he gets his 'W' and his pay cheque.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    James, as I said above, hold off the criticism until we see what happens over the next 6 months. It could look very premature if Khan does fight one of the big-hitters in the division next. Call me naive, but I fully expect this to be the case.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm sure you are right Ruari. Big fights will eventually come his way as they always do in boxing.

    Either way, here's to a good fight! I do look forward to seeing the hand speed and power Khan can produce, particularly under the tutelage of Freddie Roach. He can be pretty dazzling when he turns it on.

  • Comment number 20.

    The day that Khan and his parents turned up at Warrens house and demanded £1M for his next fight and to chose his own opponent shows that Khan needed to be taken down a peg.

    When Warren put Prescott in front of Khan he knew Khan would lose.

    I just hope Khan hasn't moved too soon, but it shows how much Khan has matured as a man when when can leave Warren apparently without much acrimony.

    I believe Khan needs to be toughened up for a few more years to gain some traction, but we'll see what happens. I think the jury is still out on Khan.

  • Comment number 21.

    Anyone tell me why Le Gooner can post a comment suggesting Khan gets stick due to his skin colour but my response suggesting he stop playing the race card gets removed. Is it because I said Ashley Cole is an idiot?

  • Comment number 22.

    Le Gooner - to suggest that any of the negative reactions to Khan come from racism is ridiculous.

    He is an OK fighter that by the way has a criminal record so perhaps is not the best role model for young people.

  • Comment number 23.

    It seems Amir treats boxing like a business first and a sport second. There is already a perception that he is hand-picked fighters, he would get a lot more supporters if he just fought the guys who are next in line instead of continueing to pick and choose.

  • Comment number 24.

    Watson135 - he was banned from driving for 6 months for going through a red light, he does not have a criminal record. It is difficult to see why Khan gets such a hard time though - his mistakes do always seem to be used as some sort of justification for his doubters and are exaggerated more than you would get with a lot of other fighters.

  • Comment number 25.

    vjohn82 - I'm not sure if this is a coming of age fight or not to be honest. Malignaggi has been in with some tasty names, but was he rejuvenated against Juan Diaz or was Diaz a little bit shopworn? I guess we'll find out on Saturday. But you're right, any win over Malignaggi would be a good scalp on his record.

    James - After the Malignaggi fight, I think Golden Boy will be under pressure from HBO to stick him in with one of the other title-holders, that's what they're all about nowadays.

    Ruari - I'm not sure that Khan-Mitchell fight will ever take place to be honest, or not for some time yet.

    endoftheline78 - You've never read anything about Carl Froch being arrogant? You're kidding, right?

    watson135 - "to suggest that any of the negative reactions to Khan come from racism is ridiculous." I don't think it's ridiculous at all, it's a fact. I've read racist vitriol on the internet and I've heard it at his fights.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Ben, thanks for the reply. I was refering more to Maidana rather than Mitchell for his next fight. He has said himself that fighting him is the only way to silence the doubters. Presuming he beats Paulie on Saturday, do you not think Maidana will be up next?

  • Comment number 27.

    Khan is right to treat his career as a business. If he just fights, fights to entertain or hush the sceptics at this early stage of his career he runs the chance of not getting the pay days that he deserves. Rome wasn't built in a day and British fans should realise that this young guy is a credit to the sport and has made his name not through being a disrespectful big mouth like alot of boxers but by being a hard working athlete. Khan will hands down take Paulie out in about round 5-6 as his power and speed will be too much for him and you can only run for so long until you eventually get caught. Khan will prove alot of sceptics wrong over the next 18 months and the Malignaggi fight will be the start of it.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've read racist vitriol on the internet and I've heard it at his fights.
    *************************************************
    Sadly Ben (as my posts will prove) they'll let any old idiot on the internet these days, but a small band of brain donors who would dislike the man who saved them from drowning if he was the wrong colour, cannot be taken as an indication that the negativity towards Khan is down to race. It's more down to the careful matchmaking from dear old Frank, the ludicrous financial demands made by Team Khan and the subsequent SKY PPV fiasco. Add to that the great "comeback" against the legendary Oisin Fagin which somehow propelled him into a title eliminator with Barrera and the win over Kotelnik up at LWW when there was a viable fight at LW for him...and all this whilst avoiding any half decent domestic rival such as the supposedly over-rated Murray and shop-worn Thaxton.

  • Comment number 29.

    Dave669 - No, I'm not saying all the negativity is down to race, but some of it certainly is. I'm not so sure Khan has been more carefully matched than anyone else to be honest, but one thing's for sure, he won't be able to hide for long, and if HBO have anything to do with it, he'll be up against one of the big hitters pretty soon.

  • Comment number 30.

    James, do you watch boxing? Kevin Mitchell is hardly a heavy hitter! As for Manny and Floyd trading punches, there won't be any of that going on. Sure Manny will throw a lot, but Floyd will prove himself to be a defensive master and win the fight in his usual "boring" fashion.

    Boxing isn't just about two blokes throwing punches and trying to knock each others heads off! There's room for all styles.

    As for Khan chasing money...it may have escaped your attention, but ALL BOXERS ARE CHASING MONEY!! Every time these guys enter a ring they are putting their lives and health on the line. If someone says to him, right you have 2 options:

    1: $5 million to fight an relatively unknown Colombian who hits hard and is a serious banana skin

    2: $10 million to fight a light hitting big name boxer, by defeating whom you will announce yourself in the US market.

    I know which I'd take.

    Also, he's not arrogant or loudmouthed. He's a pretty humble kid who you never see falling out of clubs drunk, sleeping with models or doing any of the other things our national footballers do. He does a lot of charity work up North and in other parts of the world. He does a lot of work in terms of community relations. Sure he's crashed a couple of cars, but then again, if I was 20 and had £20 million in the bank, I'd probably buy a Ferrari too! And being 20 I probably wouldn't have the driving skills to hande said Ferrari and end up crashing it.

    His trash talking when he first started out was 100% down to fish eyes Warren who had obviously prepped him on how to deal with the media. He was 19 and his promoter had told him what answers to give to the media. Simple.

  • Comment number 31.

    Ben, spot on with the race thing, buit how come when I mentioned it it got removed by the mods?

    Good to see the fight's on terrestrial tv though!

  • Comment number 32.

    Take it most of you have heard about the weigh-in. Reports suggesting Khans fans rushed the stage and caused a riot!

  • Comment number 33.

    Lots of criticism for Calzaghe on here I notice! Why?

    In my opinion, he's the best British boxer of the modern era. Whether he ducked fights or not his development meant that he became the most complete package seen for a long time...

    1) Never completely staggered...great chin!
    2) Recovered from knockdowns vs very capable fighters.
    3) Fought legends that were in their prime i.e Eubank and Kessler
    4) Produced THE best/most dominant 12 rounds against a very confident and capable operator in Jeff Lacy.
    5) Could produce knockout punches when required in addition to a phenomenal work rate.

    Calzaghe was incredible...simple as.

    If we are talking about Khan, who would support/watch him if he lost 6 fights from 22 (as an example!)? He needs to be cultivated still, he's a very special yet young and raw talent. Just look at people like that Spanish kid, Alvarez, he's been put in with bums, has been wobbled and has gained experience. Doesn't make him a bad fighter.

    Amir Khan will be a boxing great, mark my words! He needs time and experience, he has all the physical attributes!

  • Comment number 34.

    All I see the reason being voiced at Khan about that he is NOT proved himself is utter nonsense, and understandably it comes from the often young white middleclass bnp edl supporting chav people in england who happened to be sickiningly racist against the asians in this country for sure, these are the 'fans' who cannot stand a 'asian' british guy fighting his way to fame, if khan was white like ricky hatton then it would have been different, see what is happening in F1 that now Jenson Button is seen as a 'great driver' while Lewis hamilton repeatedly being told he 'need to learn' driving moreover, the truth is otherway obviously

  • Comment number 35.

    11. At 10:50am on 14 May 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    "I Hope AMIR KHAN can fight as well as talk? The boxers today seem to be all world champions after a few hand picked fights on the T.V To be a {real boxer} takes' a lot lot, more Check out any BOXERS RECORD before you call him a Proper "CHAMP"

    you should be in the ring fighting mate !
    its insane you sit on your ass in front of the computer and telling someone to prove the fightworthy, just give in time Amir will be there,

    as some one said above all the 'great' fighters do duck and dive, and will pick who to fight depends on reasons, what the debaters shouldnt do is stop getting paranoid toomuch about it, like Amir all the other fighters are doign thier bit, stop your silly suggestions

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ruari - How can you say that Calzaghe only fought good fighters when they were well out of their prime? Calzaghe fought Eubank when he was arguably at his best and beat hime, he fought a well favourited Jeff Lacy and made an embarrassment of hime. If i remember rightly, Roy Jone's Jr. called Calzaghe out, not to mention the fact that jones is only 2 years older than calzaghe?? You seem to forget that Calzaghe won the majority of his big fights at the end of his career only further highlighting the fact of what a great fighter he really is. Look at Mosely, De La Hoya, Hatton, Jones, Hopkins, all of whom are and have been great champions, all of which also lost big fights at the end of their careers, did Calzaghe? No he won them all and beat fighters younger than him too...

  • Comment number 38.

    Billy, I'm not sure how you can say Calzaghe fought Eubank in his prime or when he was at his best. He had just come out of retirement after being beaten twice by Steve Collins and after the fight was beaten by Carl Thompson. I agree that the Jeff Lacy fight is probably the most impressive of his career, but he undoubtedly ducked the big fights in America until the very end of his career - I don't think anyone can say Hopkins or Jones Junior were anywhere near their prime when they fought. Calzaghe was very smart in structuring his career and should be commended for getting out at the top but there have to be questions over why he didn't go to America and take the big fights (which were on the table) earlier.

  • Comment number 39.

    34. At 09:03am on 15 May 2010, mrtumblehere wrote:
    All I see the reason being voiced at Khan about that he is NOT proved himself is utter nonsense, and understandably it comes from the often young white middleclass bnp edl supporting chav people in england who happened to be sickiningly racist against the asians in this country for sure, these are the 'fans' who cannot stand a 'asian' british guy fighting his way to fame, if khan was white like ricky hatton then it would have been different, see what is happening in F1 that now Jenson Button is seen as a 'great driver' while Lewis hamilton repeatedly being told he 'need to learn' driving moreover, the truth is otherway obviously
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Would you like some crisps to go with your bitter?
    Can you honestly say that Khan hasn't been protected and given a leg up over his domestic rivals. Mitchell was named "Young Boxer of the Year" BEFORE Khan and Warren signed him up on the back of it, promising great things...in much the same way he did with Hatton and Calzaghe before, then Khan came along and Frank couldn't get a piece of him quick enough.
    Can you honestly say that losing to Prescott, beating the completely unheard of Oisin Fagin and the corpse of Marco Antonio Barrera is adequate to be considered worthy of a World Title Shot?
    There were plenty of fights at LW for Khan against guys who were highly rated and well rounded but suddenly we hear that he "had" to move up to LWW because there were no fights available (read - no EASY fights available).
    Khan reckons if he was white he'd be a legend on these shores. Nope, if he went about the business of "earning" his stripes rather than having things handed to him, he'd be much more popular.
    Three of this countries favourite fighters, Bruno, Benn and Eubank are all blacker than Khan but I don't hear those guys screaming racism.
    I'm not denying his talent but the way he's been favoured so heavily by his promotors is almost unreal.

  • Comment number 40.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/3030004.stm

    The whole Calzaghe avoided people is a myth that's been perpetuated by anti-Calzaghe club to detract on his acheivements. This article avove is evidence to the contary. It's been said so much it's almost like the facts to the contary don't count.

    I don't think anybody is saying his record is unquestionable but when look at how he comfortably dealt with Kessler who in turn beat Froch who had Taylor, Dirrell and Pascal as W's on his record, then you can see that he has quality fighters on his record as well as quantity.

    B-HOP style style suited his age and Calzaghe style that was more reliant od speed and reflexes was more on the slide than B-HOP.

    RJJ was past his best, no doubt.

    If it's so easy to go undefeated then why have our best fighters like Khan, Haye and Lewis all lost to average guys?

    Best of luck to Kahn and Mitchell tonight, hopefully both will win and set up a great showdown with Mitchell.

  • Comment number 41.

    I wish Amir Khan will fight Prescott to avenge that fight. He still has a question mark over him. This should be an interesting fight!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    I get annoyed with Calzaghe bashers on these forums, he was a great boxer who had to re-invent his style because of damage to his hands, he knew how to win fights many times having to change his style / strategy in the middle of a fight ie Hopkins, Kessler something that many fighters struggle with. I also think many of the names on his record were considered very good at the time before Joe beat them, I remember Omar Sheika was hailed as the next big thing by many stateside before he was comprehensively beaten in a brilliant all action fight with Joe, he never seemed the same again...same with Lacy.

    I personally enjoy watching Khan fight, his style can make for very entertaining boxing and his speed and accuracy are almost unrivalled now. I do worry about his chin and I think this will probably stop him from obtaining the legacy that JC got, no one can deny JC had a great chin along with all his other assets. I think Khan will have to expect some losses with his chin but I fully expect him to have some great wins as well, he seems to have come back well from his first loss and he just will have to be mentally strong to recover from future losses.

  • Comment number 43.

    '"I was going to fight Marcos Maidana [Khan's mandatory challenger, who has 28 wins and 27 knockouts from 29 fights], but it's a business and the money just wasn't coming off," said Khan, who has just one defeat in 22.'

    -------------

    LOL! Translation : I was going to fight Marcos Maidana, but unlike Paulie he can actually punch hard, and I'd have been doing the Tipsy Chicken again by the end of the first!

 

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