Ashley McNamara writes…. This week has seen the announcement of Pacquiao vs Khan and – as is often the case with Amir – he’s been ridiculed more often than not for supposedly ducking Kell Brook in taking the fight with the future hall of famer. Some of it is justified but some I don’t believe is. Here’s why.
Firstly, the former Olympic Silver medallist hasn’t done himself any favours in the fact that he was quoted as saying “I need a tune-up bout before fighting Kell”. Not the best start then when you announce a Pacquiao fight a few weeks later. But in his defence, he has been chasing that match-up for a few years now whereas Kell has spent most of his career calling out the Bolton man. Although fighting Special K on these shores is a big deal it’s not a contest that’s going to be recognised worldwide. Amir needed to strike while the iron was hot, and he’s done just that.
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Kell will, undoubtedly, feel like he’s been left at the altar again but Khan is still the bigger name and will continue to be until Brook continues to fight big names/prospects – a win over Errol Spence Jr in his upcoming bout will definitely see his stock rise Stateside. A lot was made of the 70/30 split demands from the Bolton man’s team , and maybe that was a bit too much, but his resume is far superior to that of the Sheffield boxers.
His opponents, that are recognisable to many, include; Barrera, Kotelnik, Malignaggi, Maidana, Judah, Peterson, Garcia, Collazo, Alexander, Algieri, Canelo Alvarez and now Manny Pacqiuao. Barring Lamont Peterson, they were all current or former World Champions. He has also headlined in the States on many occasions. Notably; Vegas, New York, Washington DC and soon to be probably Dubai.
Compare that to the current IBF Welterweight champions and you can’t ignore the fact that his resume doesn’t stack up anywhere near to the events that Khan has been involved in. Golovkin and Porter were current champions and Vyacheslav Senchenko was a former WBA title holder. You could put Matthew Hatton into that category but he was never a world title holder.
Amir ‘King’ Khan may not be the most likeable character in boxing. Far from it. But he is still a far bigger draw in the world of boxing. That’s why he’s linked with, and fought, the biggest names in the sport. Kell might not like it, but Amir is still looking down on him in my opinion.
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