The victory was good, but because Kotelnik is considered to be the weakest of the light welterweight champions, it still didn’t do much to raise the status of Khan in the boxing world. Kotelnik, a light hitter, seemed to be made to order for Khan, who has a reputation of having a glass jaw. For Khan to shake his reputation of having a fragile chin, he needs to face a big slugger like Maidana or Breidis Prescott.
With Prescott’s 10-round unanimous decision loss last weekend, he’s out as a potential opponent, although it would seem highly unlikely that Khan would ever decide to face him again because of the ease with which Prescott stopped Khan in the 1st round last year.
Maidana, 26, ranked number #2 in the World Boxing Association, would seem to be exactly what Khan needs to establish himself as a star in the sport. Maidana is a fighter that is popular on HBO, an American cable network, and this is a fight that would definitely be shown by them to American audiences.
Khan needs to beat a fighter like Maidana and show that he can take heavy shots without folding are being knocked down. Khan has been dropped repeatedly during his short four pro career by less than big punchers while fighting in England against mostly C level opponents. Maidana is a huge step up from the likes of Graham Earl, Scott Lawton and Stefy Bull, just a few of Khan’s lackluster opponents faced in his career.
Maidana has been beaten once in his career, losing a controversial 12 round split decision to Kotelnik in Germany. Although Maidana lost the fight, he appeared to win it in the eyes of many boxing fans. I personally had Maidana winning by two rounds.
Kotelnik took some tremendous shots during the fight, punches that would have knocked out a lot of other fighters. In the end, it was the judges liking Kotelnik’s jabs over the huge power shots that Maidana was landing.
It seemed pretty easy for me to score because Maidana was landing devastating shots in every round and only hit back with jabs, but then again, Kotelnik was the house fighter in Germany, so the decision wasn’t all that surprising. Kotelnik’s face looked bad by the end of the fight, his nose bleeding, his face swollen and lumpy. He looked as if he had survived a war.
Khan will be taking a huge risk in facing Maidana, because the Argentinean fighter appears to punch even harder than Prescott and doesn’t need to wind up to get a lot of power on his shots like Prescott does. Maidana can be out-boxed, that much is clear. Kotelnik was able to control stretches of the fight using his jab against Maidana.
Khan would have to stay on the move for the entire 12 rounds and would have to do a better job staying away from exchanges than he did against Kotelnik. If Khan fights the same way he did against Kotelnik, then Maidana will knock him out by the 6th round. He hits too hard and will hurt Khan with one of his big shots. He hits much harder than Kotelnik, and if Maidana can stun Khan, he’ll have little problem finishing him off like Maidana did his last opponent Victor Ortiz in a 6th round stoppage.
In that fight, Maidana was knocked down three times in the first two rounds by big shots. However, Maidana was never actually hurt by the flash knockdowns. Maidana dropped Ortiz in the 1st round and had him stunned. In the 5th round, Ortiz made the mistake of exchanging with Maidana and got hit with a big right hand from him and cut over the right eye.
Maidana landed several other huge shots in the 5th round that seemed to take the life out of Ortiz. In the 6th, Maidana went after Ortiz immediately and after driving him to the ropes with power shots, Maidana knocked Ortiz down with a left to the body.
The fight was then stopped after the ring doctor examined Ortiz’s cut eye. Ortiz didn’t want to continue fighting and it was a good decision he made, because Maidana would have destroyed him if the fight had continued longer. By Erick Thomas: