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Khan shows Mitchell the way

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Ben Dirs | 07:44 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

Kevin Mitchell's right forearm is inked with a quote from Muhammad Ali: "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road - long before I dance under those lights." Won or lost, remember, won or lost.

Amir Khan's not really a tattoo kind of guy, but, on the evidence of Saturday, he doesn't need to cover himself in crib notes. Mean and mature on his American debut against Paulie Malignaggi, although not quite 'The Greatest', Khan could still teach Mitchell a thing or two about proper preparation.

"About five weeks ago, Jimmy Tibbs said, 'you haven't prepared for this fight properly, you keep messing around'," admitted Mitchell after his three-round demolition at the hands of Michael Katsidis. "There were things I wasn't doing and I was having a few late nights."

"If you don't want to play the game, don't waste my time," countered his promoter Frank Warren, while an equally incensed Tibbs echoed the words of Ali, with whom the venerable trainer once sparred: "If you want to be a world champion, there are no shortcuts, you've got to live the life."

mitchell595.jpgMitchell was unable to deal with Katsidis' relentless attacks and will now have to go back to the drawing board

Katsidis and his manager Brendon Smith looked more than a little hacked off by all these excuses. When Mitchell added that his build-up had been adversely affected by a spot of domestic discord, the ever-polite Katsidis looked fit to burst.

If Mitchell's challenge for the Aussie's WBO interim lightweight belt had been billed as an old-fashioned Cockney knees-up, then Katsidis did the equivalent of tear down a portrait of the Queen Mum and extinguish a cigarette in the whelks. Still, he didn't deserve to have his achievement overshadowed in this way.

That said, I happened to be in Mitchell's gym when Tibbs was giving out about his charge's extra-curricular activities, so I can vouch for the validity of his claims. Mitchell looked ragged in sparring that day and admitted he was off the weight.

The talk after the fight was that Mitchell had abandoned his game plan and been suckered into a war by Katsidis, but I'm not so sure. The Dagenham man looked rattled by his rival's power and verve in the opening exchanges, and the impression thereafter was that when Katsidis came forward with any intent - which was most of the time - Mitchell simply didn't have the strength or the wherewithal to keep him at bay.

Perhaps Mitchell, a former British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion, needs more time to grow into the 135lb division. More likely, he needs to rethink his approach, get his head down and graft, just as Khan did following his 54-second defeat to Breidis Prescott in 2008.

khan595.jpgKhan could not miss with the jab against Malignaggi - and his right hand wasn't too shabby either

While Mitchell has spoken of his love of being "one of the boys" in his gym in Canning Town, Khan revealed one of the reasons he'd split with Warren and fled to the States was because there were too many distractions in England.

Holed up in trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card surgery in Los Angeles for the last four months, the 23-year-old has been nipped, tucked and tinkered with and transformed into something altogether more robust.

His 11th-round stoppage of American veteran Malignaggi on his US debut was a lesson in following a game plan, a lesson in playing to one's strengths and a lesson in the fundamental importance in boxing of the jab.

It was widely thought that power would win the day against the light-punching Malignaggi, but it was the speed and precision of Khan's left-hand lead that ground down his rival and eventually broke his heart. No need to take unnecessary risks if your signature shot is top of the class.

The Bolton man had been afforded a predictably hot reception at Madison Square Garden, for New Yorker Malignaggi is a local boy. But it was a measure of the quality of Khan's performance that the natives were cheering him to the rafters long before the final bell.

Afterwards, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions announced Khan's next fight would be back in the UK on 31 July, before revealing that Katsidis could conceivably be in the opposite corner. However, Schaefer's assertion that Katsidis is "one of our fighters" will be news to the Aussie, who had been pretty adamant back in London that he was a free agent. Success, the saying goes, has many fathers.

For his part, Roach, fed up of being accused of ducking the light-welterweight division's big-hitters, said he fancied Argentine clubber Marcos Maidana, the mandatory challenger to Khan's WBA crown.

Maidana, with 28 wins and 27 knockouts from 29 fights, can bang, especially with his right hand, but anyone who has seen his wild, wild clash with Victor Ortiz will know he is there to be hit. As a result, Roach will fancy his man's straight punches to trump Maidana's more crude lines of attack, although plenty of others would disagree.

While Khan has endless options, Mitchell, who had been angling for a domestic showdown with his old amateur friend, is back to the drawing board - in the gym and out there on the road, and far away from those lights.

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

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    I think it's Malignaggi's lack of punching power that is causing some to not give credit to Khan for his performance and as you've said, it's annoying the Khan camp. Malignaggi whilst light in the punching power is not short on speed himself but Khan was hitting him at will.

    Roach has done wonders with Khan and for me, it was a text book display on using the jab to keep your opponent off balance, wear him down and then pick him off. Prescott was the wake up call Khan needed but some won't let him forget it and hold it against him but if he was to fight Prescott now it would be a very different fight.

    You have to learn from your mistakes and Khan certainly seems to be doing that. More sterner challenges to come I'm sure that will really test that defense of Khan's (and his maturity) but for now, well done.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm no marriage guidance counsellor but I don't think blaming it on the missus will do Mitchell's marriage any good. Nor am I too impressed with the poor little lamb bleating that he has had it hard cos he had to work on the Underground to make ends meet.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm caught in two minds with this performance of Khan's. Paulie has got skills, but he seemed to lack the basics somewhat. Essentially all Khan did was land the jab, and go looking for the overhand right, without too much success, where the right is concerned.

    It worked, and he got the win, however I just wonder what other tools he's got in the bag when someone figures out his jab. Which Bradley or Alexander most certainly will be able to do. Let alone if he gets in the ring with a counter-punching master like Marquez.

    As far as Mitchell is concerned, I think he has the raw talent to box his way to the top. You can se ehe has the speed and the skills, it's just a question of disciplining the lad more than anything I feel. Some hard graft might just be the order of the day.

  • Comment number 5.

    Mitchell looked like he was struggling to make weight at the weigh in, having said that a fully fill Mitchell would have struggled to keep off Katsidis for 12 rounds, he was an animal. As for Khan, he's a GBP hype job who fill get found out against anyone who can bang a bit

  • Comment number 6.

    It's all about hunger at the end of the day. Mitchell didn't have it but Katsidis did and so does Khan again. Losing to Prescott was one of the best things to happen to Khan and it made him realise what he needed to do to get to the top. Hopefully the same will be true for Mitchell. One thing's for sure though, Mitchell whining about his home life and the problems there won't wash with anyone. You're fighting in front of your fans in the stadium you love and you're fighting for the chance at a world title fight. What more motivation do you need?

    Sorry but there can be no excuses for not preparing correctly when there is so much at stake. If he'd given his all and got beat fair enough, but to go in under-prepared is incredibly poor from him. Just look at Katsidis' preparation, left his wife and new baby daughter at home to go and prepare in Thailand without any distractions. That's the mark of a man who understood how serious this fight was. That's called going the extra mile and that's the sort of thing Khan's done now and what Mitchell will have to do in the future. If he doesn't realise that he'll never be a world champion.

  • Comment number 7.

    No comparison in the quality of opponents Khan and Mitchell had in front of them on Saturday.

    Malagnaggi another Khan opponent picked for his light punching.

  • Comment number 8.

    By the way I'm not saying Khan is at the top but he has a much better chance of getting there than he did before he went to work with Roach.

  • Comment number 9.

    Ben,

    Who do you see winning between Khan and Katsidis? I can only see the fight going the way Mitchell's did. I understand Khan takes punches better than he used to, but can he cope with Katsidis power?

  • Comment number 10.

    khans really developed well and roach has wroked wonders with him, but i cant help but feel maidana would be a very risky fight for him. i know he has been accused of dodging the heavy punchers, and in all fairness that statements probably true, whats your thoughts on a maidana fight? do you think he's got the punch resistance in him against a banger like maidana?

  • Comment number 11.

    wow some of you so-called Boxing fans are so uneducated at this sport you supposedly follow. Fickle too, as it goes, I can remember you all deriding Khan and saying Mitchell would beat him, and yet you all still deride Khan despite him being the 2nd man to stop Malignaggi, yes Malignaggi has only been dropped once in his whole career.

    Boxing is not just about speed and power, just because Katsidis is a power puncher does not mean he will knock out Khan. Who's to say he will catch Khan? Boxing is a tactical sport as much as anything, it's why the Floyd's and Manny's of this world stand out. They train differently for every opponent. Look at the difference in Manny's styles when he fought Hatton and when he fought Cotto. Of course I might just be preaching to an uneducated crowd here as it seems ever so on your blogs Ben, but the matter of fact is Freddie Roach is the best trainer on the planet by miles and Amir Khan boxed Malignaggi different to how he played his last fight and the fight before.

    Every fighter has different strengths, Roach's gameplans dictate how his fighters will fight in each fight, not the same plan for every fight.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think Malignaggi has been stopped twice before - by Hatton and by Cotto. And I don't think Hatton legitimately "dropped" him did he? (Nor did Khan come to that . . .)

  • Comment number 13.

    For me it was clear - Mitchell was clearly not in Katsides class, after a fairly good start when Katsides was taking a look at Mitchell, after his first onslaught, it was evident that this may not last too long. I hope Im wrong but I think Mitchell has been overhyped and Frank Warren doesnt want to put him anywhere near Amir Khan right now. Khan would stop Mitchell early has his hand speed would be too much for Mitchell.

    As for Khan, Malignaggi is a tough durable fighter but his power was never going to trouble Khan, and Khan fought a perfect strategy away from home and totally dominated a game Malignaggi. It would be interesting to see him up aganist a Bradley or Alexander, which would be a step up in class but I think Khan needs to move to that level now. His chin will always be suspect but his defense and movement has really improved so that will hold him in good stead.

  • Comment number 14.

    I saw both fights and was quite gutted by Mitchell, he looked really good against Prescott, and although Katsidis is a much bigger step up I thought he has showed the skills to fight off the jab and land with shots when he needed to, but he didn't look comfortable with the power at all. Also he seemed a bit too brave in the third, rather than trying to regain his legs and either run or hold, he tried to stand and trade and it just wasn't going to work.

    As for Kahn, he looked in good shape, great jab and really fast hands, but I would like to see Kahn Katsidis soon, I think Katsidis would catch him, he's not a slow brawler, he is as his name suggets a warrior. His ability to take a punch and keep coming in is phenomenal. I think that would put the Kahn jab to the test because we wouldn't back away like Malinaggi, he would keep on coming and coming for the whole 12 rounds, plus his power is great. Then we would see if Kahn's chin is as suspect as it is often touted. I'm not going to slate Kahn and get on his back, but I am not yet fully convinced, but you can't really gripe at his recent performances. His opponents have not been of the highest class but as long as he isn't kept away from the big hitters the whole time, I'd say he is still a great prospect. I've read people on Ben's blogs slating De La Hoya for being average and never winning his biggest fights, but the point is he rarely avoided one, if there was someone to fight he fought them, and if he lost he lost! For one thing he almost put a blemish in Mayweather's perfect record.

  • Comment number 15.

    your right Valero, Malignaggi has only been 'dropped' once in his career and it was against neither Hatton or Khan who are the only fighters to have 'stopped' him.

  • Comment number 16.

    onlydez; of the 10 posts before yours can you tell me who of those people derided Khan before the weekend's performance please? If not how about getting off your high horse and joining in the debate with the rest of us rather than acting like you're the only one who knows a thing about boxing.

    Yes Khan did very very well against Malignaggi but he was still in with a guy who hasn't knocked someone out since about 2003 I think. Sorry but all the doubts regarding Khan surround his chin. Yes his defence is a thousand times better than it was but the Prescott knock out (and it was a bad one) is still pretty fresh in people's minds. Until Khan has a few more nights like he did on Saturday there will always be a few more doubts flying around, but less with each fight.

  • Comment number 17.

    well constant references to, wait till he meets a proper fighter or wait till he meets a hard puncher, is that not deriding him? He's put in a lot of effort to get where he is, but it's obvious a large number of the british population can't get past the colour of his skin. I'm guessing this is the same proportion of the public which makes that disgrace of a paper the Mail on Sunday the most bought Sunday newspaper.

  • Comment number 18.

    No I don't think it is deriding him. He lost badly to someone after saying he would win easily and had said how he wanted to be Britain's youngest world champion. The guy he lost to was then given a schooling by Mitchell who won easily, you can see why people would then logically feel Mitchell could beat Khan. Boxers are arrogant people, they have to be as they need that inner belief and confidence. If they didn't have it they wouldn't get in the ring. But that attitude makes it harder for people to like them, in the UK particularly I think. That night against Prescott all Khan's boasts and big talk came back to haunt him as he was taken apart inside a minute. To then question his punch-taking ability isn't deriding him it's calling it how it is. It's his own fault people will question whether he can take a punch as he hasn't shown he can yet. And since he went to Roach he's only just beginning to learn how to avoid them.

    As for playing the race card that really is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Are you really saying a large number of the british population are racist? Yes sadly there still are some racist people out there but to say the majority of the population are racist is beyond a joke, this isn't the 70s or 80s.

  • Comment number 19.

    onlydez; you should be careful with what you're starting to imply with your posts. no one here has made any indication their posts are racially motivated, my post stating im worried about a maidana fight has nothing to do with the colour of his skin but the fact he's been down 5 times in his career and knocked out badly by prescott. i want khan to do well, i'll support him every time he gets in the ring, but i question the thought process of putting him in the ring with someone who's ko'd 25 of his 29 opponents.

  • Comment number 20.

    onlydez - ah yes - Cotto dropped him but didn't stop him. Sorry, my mistake!

  • Comment number 21.

    I think until Khan lays the demons of that Prescott KO defeat to rest there will always be doubters! I'm not going to say "wait till he meets a hard puncher", neither do I want to see him in a rematch with Prescott, but I will say that you cannot tell how much Khan has improved if he isn't tested by someone who can hit as hard as Prescott could!

    If, as Golden Boy say, he fights Katsidis next it would represent a huge test of Khan as Katsidis is a dangerous opponent. I would even go as far as to say I think Katsidis is a better opponent than mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana! If Khan was to beat Katsidis and/or Maidana in style, he would definitely prove the doubters wrong.

    Although I can see the people who genuinely dislike Khan (for various reasons) would find something else to pick on. Like he would get found out against Bradley or Alexander, etc. These people cannot be called doubters! They just have a severe dislike for the kid no matter what he achieves. 'Doubters' are people whose opinions can be changed with progress. Admittedly after the Prescott defeat, I doubted whether Khan was just another over-hyped boxer. Now he is starting to show he has some class. Although I won't be entirely convinced until he does face some better opposition!

  • Comment number 22.

    onlydez: Khan's skin colour is irrelevant to his boxing ability. No-one is suggesting that he lacks a chin because of his Asian heritage. The Prescott fight showed a worrying inability to take a big hit, and this has nothing to do with his ethnicity. People questioned Bruno's chin as well, but it would be hard to suggest racism had a part in that; Bruno was/is one of the country's most popular sportsman! Kahn went through a period where he appeared a little more cocky than perhaps his exploits merited, and that didn't sit well with a lot of people, so maybe there can be a tendency for some to put him down, but this is not an "uppity Asian" prejudice, just a general dislike of cockiness. Carl Froch has sometimes been accused of the same cockiness and he has also discovered that the general public don't take to it. Kahn is a fine fighter, and with Roach in his corner he could become an all time great because he has all the tools and the best trainer in the world. It's just that he needs to step in with a couple of big bangers to prove that he can take big shots, and that Prescott was an aberration, not an ongoing issue.

    Personally I hope he dominates the division and then steps up a la Manny.....

  • Comment number 23.

    Amir Khan is nowhere near the finished article as I'm sure both Khan and his team will admit. However, I'd be depressed if, at the age of 23, I'd no room for improvement. He's learning his ring craft and part of that is knowing which fights will be good for him to improve and which fights could destroy him. One defeat and there would be many calling for him to retire which would be ridiculous.

    His first fight in America against a home favourite will have taught him much. The fact that he went eleven rounds will have done far more for him than any first round knockout. At some point he will need to go in with the big hitters to test his chin but his team will help him decide when that should be rather than those who'd push him in to fights that he's not ready for yet. With the correct preparation Amir Khan can look forward to a long and succesfull career and prove many of his doubters wrong.

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    There is a lot of comment here that Khan has only ever beaten bums and that he will get his comeuppance against Maidana. Would that be the same Maidana who lost to Kotelnik?

  • Comment number 26.

    WHat was most impressive about Khan was how his defence has improved. Paulie only founds hans CHIN once. Once in the whole fight. And that is against a fella who is by no means the slowest fighter.

    If Paulie can only find his chin once, then I think Maidana will really struggle. Also remeber he has a suspect chin as well.

    As for Katsidis, Khan will win on cuts. You saw Paulie's face on saturday night. Well Katsidis has been busted open plenty of times before and Khans jab is one of the best in the game.

  • Comment number 27.

    sorry.... Paulie only found Khan's chin once**

  • Comment number 28.

    Does anyone else get bored with all the khan doubters there have been since his 54 second loss to prescot. However he has beaten barrera and his opponents since (Malignaggi excluded) have had knock out percentages of about 50%. Not massive punchers I know, but respectable enough for Amir to have to think about not getting hit.

    Khan will out box maidana. He wont go in there with his chin in the air and he certainly wont make the same mistakes he did against prescott. After that he is mixing it with the very very best guys around, in one of the most competitive devisions. Above people have written that they think he'll struggle against a Marquez or Alexander or Bradley well these guys are the very best, he may struggle a little however since he teamed up with Roach he has beaten everyone he has faced with ease.

  • Comment number 29.

    Another decent performance from Kahn. What gets me about his reputation in this country, is that the lad is never in a dull fight. I can't understand his ditractors to be honest.

    Anyway, Kahn has a suspect chin (apparently) so he's gone back to the drawing board, got a world class trainer and now has a very strong defence. He doesn't take that many shots now. That, for me is the quality of his corner and Kahn himself maturing. Lets not forget, we have a 23 year old lad, who has had media pressure on him since the age of 16 and he is now going over the states and putting in mature performances like he did against Pauli.. I think there is a lot more to come from Kahn. And I have a feeling a few internet flamers will be eating their words in a couple of years time.

    Well done Amir, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good piece Ben. I'm sure you know your views chime with most of the 606 boxing board apart from the moronic Khan haters. Interesting that you saw some of this discord in the Mitchell camp personally.

    I was particularly impressed by Katsides, not so much his boxing as he was in a far easier fight than any of us thought before hand, but his pure class as a bloke afterwards.

    I'd love to see Katsides-Khan, though my view - there would only be one winner; Khan's bigger, stronger, quicker and more talented - however - I'm guessing - Khan will fight whoever builds his US profile most effectively and I am not sure that Katsides fits that bill.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ #29 Vegas, if only the flamers would come back after being proven wrong to admit their error. Sadly, every fighter he beats is touted beforehand as the guy that will find Khan out, and rebranded afterwards as past it, or as a "duck" when he should have been fighting someone else, for whatever reason. Today it's supposed to be the hard hitters, but tomorrow when he's beaten a couple of those, it will be that he ducks the guys with skills to match his own. That, or the hard hitters were "past it" when he fought them.

    Me? I was impressed with him in interviews before the Olympics, when he was the one-man boxing team. I was blown away by his performance at the Games. I was disappointed that Prescott put him down, and thought he'd never make it. But most impressive of all have been his recent fights. This lad is the real deal. In about 6 fights time, only an idiot will disagree. Of course, he'll probably lose one of his big fights, but an undisputed champ with a "2" in the "L" column is better than a wannabe with a "0".

  • Comment number 32.

    Well its nice to be right about both fights. ;)

    Khan's win was pretty obvious but while Mitchell had a chnace, he had to be exceptional and wasn't and isn't. Time to forget Prescott. He is a brwaler but nowhere near in the class of Katsidis.

  • Comment number 33.

    leefetts, some great posts from yourself, and the previous posters on here, to be honest I'm suprised most of 606 is not out in force on here as per usual, as those sentiments i raised are one's generally posted by a large proportion of those users.

    I know the public don't like arrogance, but it's a big part of being a boxer, look at David Haye, as arrogant as you can get, he's still pretty much loved.

    My racist allegations are there because of what I myself have heard ringside at fights and as mentioned in previous blogs by previous BBC writers it's there, it is prevalent.

    Having a suspect chin does not mean you cannot be a good fighter or even a great fighter. Lennox Lewis had a bit of a suspect chin you could say no? I mean he got floored by two great punches but worked hard to avoid that happening again, he dominated his fights so that the other guys could not get close. It's something Amir Khan seems to be working on, I'm proud that he is British, it's even better that he puts a lot of effort in beforehand in Freddie Roach's company. Who as I said previously is the best trainer by far worldwide.

  • Comment number 34.

    amir "glasschin" khan - good perfomance against a handpicked opponent - first opponent to connect on that chin and lights out, career over.
    mitchell just overpowered should have got on his bike for first few round as opponent was live but probably would have tired and mitchell is a classy boxer not a tear up merchant

  • Comment number 35.

    I had a lot of money on Katsidis to win, I was that sure pre-fight, even if Mitchell had trained to his full potential . Mitchell fought out of his skin against Prescott, but I could see that he wouldn't have the power to trouble the Aussie. I thought he was a pumped up super feather weight, and I think thats been proved right, he's definitely not good enough at lightweight. You have to give a lot of respect to Katsidis, he looked the real deal, and there will be a lot of boxers in the division looking over their shoulders. I think he's good enough to beat Marques, but that would be a fight and a half.

    As for Khan, there are still a lot of people on here unsure as to what he can achieve. I think the reason he will go all the way now is because of Freddie Roach. It's still relatively early in his career, so fighters have been handpicked which is fair enough. But Roach is not one to hold his fighters back for too long, and I can see Khan being put in with big guns from now onwards. Also he has improved, and will continually improve Amir, so there's a lot more to come. Whether he is popular or not is irrelevant, his success will improve his status in the popularity stakes. There will always be detractors who remember the Prescott fight, but that was a long time in the past, and a lot of improvement since.

    British boxing has a lot of good boxers at present, and it will be interesting to see if the likes of Kell Brook, De Gale, and Gavin start to make the ranks, to join the top tier of Haye, and who knows maybe Khan. Mitchell has to review his position, he looks like a 9 stone fighter, and not a powerful one at that, so it is important that he makes some important considerations prior to stepping back into the ring

  • Comment number 36.

    I think Kahn will always be suspected of having a weak chin until he proves people wrong by taking a big shot from a recognised puncher and gets through it.

    Until that happens he seems to me to be going about his business in exactly the right way- he found a better trainer and he's worked hard to improve his skills and his defence so that he doesn't have to take many shots at all.

    I was impressed with Khan on Saturday night- he outclassed someone who is, in reality, a good but not quite top-drawer fighter.

    During the 'in-ring' interviews Paulie was questioned about whether he thought he'd slowed up. (He wasn't sure whether he had or not but you have to forgive his confusion as he'd been eating Khan's left hand for 11 rounds). I just think Khan is so quick as to make most opponents seem ponderous in comparison; Paulie hasn't slowed up, Amir was just too fast.

    For my part, I hope Khan fights Maidana, takes a decent shot from him, survives it and goes on to knock him out so he silences some more of his doubters. He's a talented fighter and seems to have the dedication to make the most of that talent- good luck to him.

    Mitchell could learn a few lessons from Khan in that respect- I've been impressed with him in his previous fights and I was surprised watching live that he didn't seem to be able to either avoid Katsidis' rushes or keep him off at all, but if his preparation was poor then he probably didn't have the fitness to 'dance under those lights' for 12 rounds the way he did against Prescott.

    Disappointing, but one bad loss needn't break a career, he seems to have plenty of talent, just needs to sort out his dedication. Another line he could tattoo on his other arm: "Pay the price of discipline or pay the price of regret"

  • Comment number 37.

    Khan was excellent. I think we will see a different Khan again against Maidana, and I think he will beat him. Lots of champion fighters have 'glass chins', notable amongst them is Lennox Lewis (did you see his glazed eyes after Hasim Rahman banged him out?!). The trick is to protect the chin, and Khan does it wonderfully well now.

    As for Mitchell, another ill-disciplined domestic no-hoper who'll never win a world title.

  • Comment number 38.

    Malignaggi has only been stopped once, against Hatton. He was fine when then trainer buddy mcgirt threw in the towel. Paulie went the full 12 with cotto and gave him all he could handle. There was a flash knockdown in that fight. Cottos glove also touched down in the fight but wasnt called by the ref.

    12. At 09:41am on 17 May 2010, ValeroRIP wrote:

    I think Malignaggi has been stopped twice before - by Hatton and by Cotto. And I don't think Hatton legitimately "dropped" him did he? (Nor did Khan come to that . . .)

  • Comment number 39.

    Firstly I just want to say I agree with many on this blog that 90% do not know the first thing about boxing and you go on like you know it all when really you don’t know puck all. When will you ever give credit to Khan? The answer to that is when he does a Michael Jackson. The colour of his skin is clearly the issue here but that just eggs him on. Praise to Allah for bringing him where he is today and I pray he goes further and further in his potentially amazing career. I cannot wait for him to get back here in the UK on July 31st to fight at HOME. Remember when Hatton beat Malignaggi and everyone was singing his praises? Well clearly you can’t manage that with Khan for obvious reasons. On the note of Khan V Prescott. Yes he was knocked out cold, but a true great is gracious in defeat and comes back better. It was all a disaster of Khan’s coach at that time, he was struggling to make 135lb and his body fat was at a ridiculously low level. All you amateurs go on about his “chin”, it weren’t even his chin, it was his legs. Khan knows himself he was not in shape to face heavy punches. He would eat Prescott alive today; he has grown into a beast and who says he can’t take a punch. Barrera, Kotelnik and Malignaggi all got clean punches on him that he took well. He will take on Maidanna (27 KO’s from 29) and beat him, even that won’t change your opinion on him. If Khan had a suspect chin they would have found this out at a amateur level. The majority of you will carry on burning, get a life, educate yourselves and be proud that the proud British Khan is representing in America. America or UK, we are with you all the way. Khan Army!

  • Comment number 40.

    Khan may have won over a few more the Americans after his debut win in Maddison Square Gardens but I reckon Katsidis probably won over the admiration of a few British after that performance. Hats off to Katsidis. I'd not seen much of this fighter before witnessing his gutsy performance on Saturday. He's clearly a tough little man but what I also like was that he savoured the victory with all the grace and humility of a true gent. He's a great advert for the sport and dare I say it a good ad for the normally arrogant Aussies too - so good luck to him.

  • Comment number 41.

    I really hope Amir goes on to fight Maidana and wins. will stop all the Anti-Khan people on 606. Actually i dont think it will. You guys will begin with 'he should have fought Devon Alexandra or Tim Bradley')
    He doesnt need to prove anything after beating the likes of Barrera albeit he was slightly passed it. But nevertheless a legend in the ring.

  • Comment number 42.

    The weak chin has been done to death. Yes, Khan's chin is perhaps a little suspect but having a weak chin doesn't prevent you from becoming successful. Just look at Lennox Lewis, he had a weak chin but was able to take on a prime Vitali, the knock-out artist of the heavyweight division.

    A solid defence, slick footwork and good head movement can negate a lot of the impact of a good punch. Heck IF his defence is good enough (it isn't at the moment hence the stress on if) he needed take a decent punch at all. Can you remember Mayweather taking a shot flush on the face? I am not saying Khan has a defence on Mayweather's level but if he did the strength of his chin would become irrelevant.

  • Comment number 43.

    Any normal country would be proud to have a boxer like Khan, but we whinging Brits always find fault with him.
    And I wish those who keep calling for him to fight the best in the world right away would get real. The kid is just 23, let him grow. In another 3 years he will be even better and at his peak. Some bitter Brits are just so desperate to see him fail. No doubt they have no such animosity for good old 'proper' Brits, i.e. white boxers, like Mitchell or Hatton.

  • Comment number 44.

    Gotta agree with the sentiments of other posters on Mitchell. No way should he be fighting at at weight class, he needs to drop down.

  • Comment number 45.

    Can we please stop all this nonsense about race please?
    The majority of the British public support Khan and want him to succeed, but British people are also prone to questioning the ability of their top stars to deliver, because many of us like to engage in debate and assess our sportsmen and women in an open and honest way – we do this in football, rugby, cricket, so why not boxing?
    All of the concerns raised are valid, and to dismiss them all with accusations of racism is a lazy and ignorant approach to debate.

  • Comment number 46.

    Congratulations to Michael Katsidis, a champion in and out of the ring.
    He gets very little coverage in Australia - certainly compared to Danny Green and Anthony Mundine - because he fights abroad. But the man's class. No-nonsense pro who knows what sacrifices are needed and doesn't waste his time talking bull.
    He also loves fighting in England, him and Brendon Smith said before the fight that British fans were the most passionate, maybe a short-term deal with Warren?
    That's also why I was very disappointed to hear Mitchell's feeble excuses afterwards. As an Englishman I'd have liked him to have won but now I'm not so fussed. Does he really believe every other fighter has everything laid on for them? His excuses, more than his performance, make me feel he's not cut out to be a world champion.
    As for Khan, he's going in the right direction. He also has the power, movement and speed to trouble Katsidis, who often fights in straight lines. Yet Khan's vulnerable too, this would be a cracker.

  • Comment number 47.

    As a british asian myself, I cannot stand Khan fans saying he gets stick because of his race and religion. He gets stick because he was so cocky and arrogant having not done much in his career, and when Prescott knocked him out, many people saw him getting what he had coming! However Khan looks a solid fighter now, and his speed and power should hopefully provide him with success in what is a very strong weight class with plenty of good fighers. I was disappointed in Mitchell's intelligence in his fight,he panicked when Kastidis caught him and decided to trade punches which pundits and his corner mentioned before the fight should not be his gameplan. Had he managed to clinch and recover, he could have had more joy as he did in the first round boxing Kastidis from distance.

  • Comment number 48.

    In life, not just in boxing if you want the big prize, you have to pay in advance with pure hard work.

    I hope that Mitchell has learnt his lesson and will be better for his defeat. However, I feel that Mitchell at his best would have still come unstuck against Katsidis.

    As for Khan, I'm happy he's working his plan and coach Roach is the best and his tweeks to Khan's superb natural ability is paying dividends.

    Good luck to him.

  • Comment number 49.

    That was a big defeat for Mitchell and it will take a special fighter to come back from that and perform at the highest level again.

    Khan was able to rebuild because he completely changed everything, he moved abroad and trained with arguably the best trainer in the world, Khan gave up everything here and committed himself 100% to his career.

    Mitchell has neither the finances nor the name to get into Roaches gym, but more importantly does not have the 100% committment, he has a young family they are obviously his focus, he has earnt some big money and for a young kid from Essex he has done well and will earn enough to provide for his family, but he will never make it right at to the top because he is unable to give himself mentally and physically to the committment.

    The annoying thing about Mitchell though is that I do believe he possesses raw natural talent like Amir Khan, but he just does not have the equal ambition in his heart, and you cannot train someone to get that.

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    Calm Down KahnArmy: Why try and make a race arguement when there isn't one? Some people don't like Kahn, get over it. Kahn annoyed me before the Prescott fight, he was getting far too big for his boots, and a lot of that was Frank Warren's fault for filling his head with rubbish, you could see the way Mitchell was before this fight and the way De Gale was after and during his fight!

    The Prescott loss was probably the best thing that could have happened to Kahn, he doesn't have an undefeated record to worry about and now - should he choose to can fight who he wants without something (other than a title) to protect, which I hope will make for some great mathes!

  • Comment number 52.

    Great fight by Khan, and another step up in class of opponent. What's all this rubbish about Roach cherry picking opponents?!? He's supposed to, you plumps!!!

    Roach's job is to develop Khan into the best fighter he can be... That means picking the right fights (not the easiest fights... the right fights). Each step up, Khan adds a few more tools, gains a bit more experience, and Roach probably spots another little weekness to work on. What sort of coach would Roach be if he just threw him in against the most ferocious fighters he could find this early in his career!?

    In the next 2 or 3 years, he'll be in against the very best. I dont think he'll duck them, and I dont think Roach will duck them - but they're surely right to make sure they've got the best chance of beating the best before they get in and fight them!?

    Oh... and I really hope Mitchell gets it together and comes back from this with the right attitude. He looked great against Prescott - where was that fighter on Saturday?!

  • Comment number 53.

    I am a British asian of Pakistani origin. Racism exists in almost ALL countries, it is not just a a UK thing. Drawing from my own experiences, the vast majority of Brits are good natured, decent people. Amir Khan is British and he did not really have much choice in the matter as it was his parents who emigrated to the UK before he was even born. Yet today, he represents the UK when he fights and should be supported purely on his merits. As a big boxing fan, I am very proud of all of the British boxers who became world champions, be it Benn, Eubank, Hamed, Lewis, Calzaghe, Hatton, or Amir...

  • Comment number 54.

    "Can you remember Mayweather taking a shot flush on the face?"

    Moseley caught him a couple of times, seemed to make his legs sag just for a second with one...

    Mayweather made sure he never got caught again in the fight, and that's the point I suppose- the name of the game is 'defend yourself at all times' not 'test your chin out to prove you can take a punch'.

    That's why it's the sweet science, even if many of us prefer a good old fashioned tear-up...

  • Comment number 55.

    One question I would like answered by the Khan detractors. Should he beat Maidana, will that be a victory to earn your respect? It seems he fits the bill as a banger and I've certainly seen comment to suggest that Maidana should be Khan's next fight, and many saying Maidana would knock Khan out.


    The same Maidana who lost to Kotelnik. The same Kotelnik Khan beat. The same Kotelnik who was a pickem tomato Khan for Khan.

    Doesn't matter who Khan beats, there's always a reason to hate him. Usually something he did 2 or 3 years ago. Seems many can't forgive a very young naieve lad who got a bit over excited. He's only 23. Roach reckons 5 more years before 'Project Khan' is the finished article. Judge the man on his actions, not on his past!!

  • Comment number 56.

    "Should he beat Maidana, will that be a victory to earn your respect?"

    It would really depend on the manner of victory. If Khan produced a masterclass and completely outclassed Maidana then it would prove he could handle a banger. Saying that, it might not dispel the idea that he has a glass chin. If he doesn't get hit flush in the face by Maidana then people will always have their doubts particularly if Khan wins through points and was playing it really safe.

    I just feel a lot of British fans are super critical of British boxers. There is always something wrong, either they are weak, over-protected or have some other glaring flaw be it personality (DeGale, Witter, Naseem) or nationality (Lennox Lewis). Unless they are almost perfect in every single department there will always be a contingent of fans that will have serious reservations. A British thing I guess...

  • Comment number 57.

    Do you think Paul McCloskey would be a good opponent for Kahn in July? If he is successful with his next defense of european title which i'm sure he will, he will be looking for a world title shot.
    This would be a dangerous fight for Kahn as he may get defeated and Paul may not give him the biggest pay day.
    Do you think there would ever be a chance of this fight happening?

  • Comment number 58.

    It is just like football too much media pressure.
    I love and support all our good boxers but we will always come unstuck when it comes to the big time

  • Comment number 59.

    Phase 1: Don't forget Froch, he gets really angry when people forget him!

    Kahn has proved himself against a slippery fighter, not many people have hit malinaggi that many times in a fight, though Malinaggi did appear to walk straight forwards most of the time, which is not like him. As RumbleYoungManRumble was saying Kahn will have his fights picked for him, it's only once you are at the top of your game you fight anyone - thats because you have all the necessary tools and skill sets to take on any opponent. I do feel the next task will be more of a come forward fighter, but one with some kind of defence.

  • Comment number 60.

    The Khan haters will always find an excuse. These are the same people that were on these forums predicting a thumping for Khan; predicting that he would be outclassed and humiliated; predicting that this was a fight against a real fighter... all the blah blah blah..

    Khan absolutely destroyed the mega-mouth Paulie... it was a complete and utter battering, thumping, destruction of a 'class'fighter. Mr Paulie didnt have a clue where the punches were coming from and he could barely land any of his own..

    With regards to Khan's chin, what do people want him to do.. stand there with his guard down and ask the opponent to give him a right hook flush on this chin? The whole point of boxing is to protect your chin and defeat the opponent without taking too many hits. Khan done that perfectly against poor ol' Paulie boy.

    In Roach, Khan has found an excellent trainer and tactician.. they are working out strategies and sticking to them. The constant jab in Paulie's face left marks across mega-mouth's pretty features. He looked like a dart board being beaten by a iron club.

    How I laughed at this beating and the useless armchair crictics who must have been boiling up inside each time a jab rocked Paulie boy.

    Respect to Khan.. bring the next man on!!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I have to agree re: Mitchell, simply does not have the power at the weight. Apparently his sojourn on the tube was due to problems with his hand(s). It's an interesting point regarding successive hand damage to a boxer.
    Malinaggi in his earlier career definitely punched harder (even then he he was never a banger). Against Cotto I thought he had Cotto down briefly but it wasn't counted. Post Cotto and the several hand operations all he's had since is speed, movement & combinations. As he said, perhaps he is getting old, he seems to have lost a bit of speed and movement, too many straight line as Ben pointed out
    As for Mitchell, almost the same trajectory, not enough power in those fists, he seemed more powerful earlier in his career.
    Movement, speed, combinations is what he will need to develop, moving down a weight class will help. Unfortunately an elite level boxer I doubt he will make

  • Comment number 62.

    At the end of the day Katsidis was grossly underrated by too many people. Mitchell and his handlers arrogantly saw this as a championship-crowning parade on the assumption that Katsidis was battle-worn and the back of Mitchell's great but overrated showing against Prescott.

    Firstly, Katsidis had arguably improved since his close defeats to the world class Casamayor and Diaz by going back to the drawing board.

    Secondly, Prescott had been overinflated on the back of a spectacular demolition job of Khan within the space of a few minutes. He then went on to lose before facing Mitchell.

    The aftermath of this fight is equally infuriating - Mitchell bleating about personal issues and so forth; Katsidis showed him up, plain and simple. I believe Mitchell has some good boxing skills, a great chin and skills (and he can come back) but let's hear it for Katsidis please. A bit more class required from the losers really.

  • Comment number 63.

    I haven't seen the Mitchell fight yet to be honest, but I have seen Khan and I thought he was superb. All this talk of Malignaggi not being a worthy opponent is jibberish. He beat Diaz twice (although was robbed the first time) since losing to Hatton and was extremely game right until the end.

    I have to say, I thought Mitchell might have his hands full, but after seeing him against Prescott I thought he might have a shot.

    That said, he didn't take a bad beating by all accounts and can come back, but he needs to knuckle down and give 100% next time. Nigel Benn got beaten through lack of preparation, by his own admission against Eubank, and that was a gruelling TKO loss.

    The Katsidis fight was over relatively quickly. He'll recover physically quite quickly, but has to get his mind on track for when he makes his comeback.

    I wish both Khan and Mitchell luck.

  • Comment number 64.

    "Mitchell was unable to deal with Katsidis' relentless attacks and will now have to go back to the drawing board"

    I think Audley Harrison has a drawing board going spare. He's always prepared, that man, but he doesn't need it this time after knocking out Sprott.

  • Comment number 65.

    It would be MADNESS to put Khan up against Katsidis. Malignaggi is not a puncher.. Barrera was no longer a puncher, and as for kotelnik and salita......please (note no capitals). PR at it's worst. I like Khan, he's exciting, but don't prop him up as the real deal. He ducked Maidana, KO'd by prescott... who by the way, Mitchell made a mug of, and talks guff about sparring with Pacquiao. I am disappointed with Mitchell if the rumours are true though. We have seen it in his past fights, hot and cold, but I didn't expect him to scam his own crowd with what was an OBVIOUSLY ill prepared mental and physical strategy. He looked scared and unprepared and paid the price. I honestly think though that he is a better boxer than Katsidis and would have a better chance in a re-match than Khan would. I am no-one to make judgements but I think if he really knuckled down, and took it as seriously as he makes out, then Mitchell could be a real champion of McGuigan stature.

  • Comment number 66.

    P.S Three Words. Willie Limond. Almost

  • Comment number 67.

    Why does everyone not support Khan?? He is obviously a classy operator. Everyone in the business will tell you that. Yes there is a question mark over his chin but he is young and he's developing. And to all of you idiots out there who say you can't improve someone chin. That's rubbish. . . . you improve the strength in the legs shoulders and neck and you've already improved someone chin. Lacking education is causing some of you to make ignorant comments. I'll guarantee two things which I have been saying since the start of Khan's career. 1. He'll dominate the division and 2. He'll end up a hall of famer. Also, for those of you out there who think Khan will lose to Mitchell. DREAM ON! I'll tell you one more thing - He'll walk through Maidaina and he'll easily beat Katsidis. Then he'll go on to beat Bradley and all the other "big guns in the division. The only people Khan will struggle against are Manny and Mayweather. He would go the distance with both of them though. He's a far better fighter than Hatton ever was and he's only 23. Remember these words because I'll be right. It will be interesting to see how many of you remember your negative comments about Khan when he goes down in World Boxing History for being one of the greats.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's a rather facile account of why Amir Khan and Kevin Mitchell had altogether different nights. Kevin Mitchell actually did come out using the jab, only Katsidis is a huge puncher who bulled forward throwing monster punches.
    Amir Khan was, once again, fighting a non-puncher who couldn't hurt him, which I think was the deciding factor. The Khan fight was essentially 11 tedious rounds of jabs and trying to land the big right. 'Not quite the greatest', as you say Ben Dirs.
    Can Amir Khan cope with a fresh opponent who packs a serious wallop & comes to win? The only time he faced a man who matches that description it was over in 54 seconds...

  • Comment number 69.

    Overhand right, from your comments you are clearly hoping that Amir Khan fails? For what reason I might ask? Do you think Amir Khan is going to walk into a punch like he did the last time? Are you also taking his age into account? Khan would wipe the floor with Mitchell and he'll handle Katsidis no problem. You think that just being a bull in the boxing ring gets you places at the top level? There is a little bit more too it than that. Boxing is an art and a skill. If bulls were highly successful in the boxing ring then you'd have a lot of street fighters doing it at professional level. Apart from the two best (Mayweather and Pacman) there isn't a man left around those weights that is as good as Khan. I'm not saying he can't lose. Granted he has a suspect chin but he seems to a have good enough defense to protect this suspected problem. Watch out Khan will dominate this division.

  • Comment number 70.

    I don't agree Britain or Ireland have the type of fighters than can compete in the big time. Khan would not touch Barrera in his prime and let’s not forget what Prescott did to him. Same story with Prince Naseem. One loss because he fought one decent fighter, again Barrera and that was back in 2002 (which supports Khan v Barrera argument).

    Same story with Bernard Dunne in Ireland. The Thai fighter Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym took him apart.

    Love to see Khan v Hatton. Still think although Hatton is past his best by a year or two he’d take him..

  • Comment number 71.

    Ravi, the fact that you have completely bought into the Amir Khan PR machine shows that they are doing something right - outside the ring.
    How on earth you can claim Amir is 'the best man in the division' when HIS OWN TEAM don't like his chances against a puncher, and repeatedly match him against small men who can't punch, fight after fight, year after year, with that lone exception when they matched him with a puncher, who promptly flattened him in 54 seconds.
    You think he's an improved fighter? Good for you. But in a 12 rd fight vs Marcos Maidaina, Tim Bradley or Devon Alexander he is going to get seriously hit at some point, and then we shall see whether he really can fight, or whether he's another overhyped celebrity boxer who can only beat strategically selected opponents whom he has every conceivable advantage over.

  • Comment number 72.

    Overhand Right, I haven't bought into the "PR Machine". I know a good fighter when I see one. I'll be prved right byu the end of his fantastic career. If he has 40-50 fights and loses 3 or 4 of them and he fights all the big guns in the division that will be a fantastic career. And he will fight all the big guns. If I am right you can come on here and apologise to me and admit that my ability to spot talent is far superior to yours. He's like a young Sugar Ray Robinson. We will see if his chin is up to scratch. Anyone would have gone down to the punches he took of Prescott. He was useless in that fight and walked straight into them. Some would say like a bull in a china shop. He has improved and he's taken decent punches since them (granted not as big). He may well get rocked or beaten later in his career but I guarentee you he'll beat the best while he's at it too. His next fight might well be against Katsidis or Maidaina let's see how he goes there. That might be a good indication of what's to follow. If he loses then he's obviously not ready for that level yet and we'll have to see how the rest of his career goes but . . . if he wins then what will you say because he would have beaten one of these MASSIVE punchers you talk about? The best part about this for me is. My main predictions will be proved at the end of his career. Yours could be destroyed in 6 months.

  • Comment number 73.

    Oh. . . .I forget to metion - He WILL beat Maidaina and Katsidis with relative ease. Then he can move on to Bradley and Alexander and take care of those chumps too.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think after amir khans lost agaist presscot he has really put his head down and tryed to get his head of that ko that presscot did anyway.. amir khan is a really good hard fast nboxer that worked really hard and got his belt that he really diseaved .....

  • Comment number 75.

    ah and now he is really confedent about his wins and his power so is now telling others his tactics im one of his fans and i think hes going to be the next big thing and he probly already is the next big thing after beating mallinaggi

  • Comment number 76.

    Ravi, you have firmly crossed the line from 'fan' to 'fanatic'. A young Sugar Ray Robinson? That welterweight who was routinely fighting tough dangerous middleweights...? Compared to Amir Khan, the light-welter who routinely fights super-feathers, and has ONCE AGAIN called out all his dangerous rivals but instead line up a fight with a small, old guy - 40 year old former super-feather Joel Casamayor.

    Well, as long as he can continue to fleece gullible misty eyed fans like yourself, he can continue to box hand picked fall guys without risking his glass chin against these dangerous world class 'chumps' (as you call them) Devon Alexander, Tim Bradley and Marcos Madaina.

 

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