Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boxing News: Amir Khan Refused Ricky Hatton

Boxing world was a bit shock when Ricky Hatton, in an interview at Sky Sports, offered to promote WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan, saying “I am certain with my help he can become the big star that his talent deserves.”

The 23-year-old Khan was quick to respond to Ricky Hatton, saying in an article at the, “Ricky is a good friend, but I already have Golden Boy Promotions behind me and my own company Khan Promotions. If I needed some help, I would phone him for advice, but things are going well for me right now.” Indeed, Amir Khan is working with Golden Boy Promotions now in an effort to try and become a huge mega star in the United States like his hero Manny Pacquiao.

It’s a gamble but Amir Khan is going to give it a try. Chances are, Khan will fail to become a huge star in the U.S. like Manny Pacquiao, but he will likely become as popular as Paulie Malignaggi, whom he recently defeated by an 11th round TKO last Saturday. If Khan wants to become a bigger star, he needs to step it up a couple of levels and start facing guys like his mandatory WBO light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana, and other top guys like Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander. Those are all tough fights for Khan but ones he needs to win for him to at least get to the level of popularity of Malignaggi.

Beyond that, Khan will need to face a huge star like Floyd Mayweather Jr. to become a big mega star. Manny Pacquiao won’t likely ever fight Khan because he sees him as a friend and not someone that he would like to fight. Khan, if he does get a fight against Mayweather, would have very little chance of beating him unless the fight takes place many years in the future when Mayweather is in his 40s. 

Right now, Mayweather would likely embarrass Khan and instead of Khan becoming a huge mega star like Mayweather, he would just another one of Floyd’s victims. You don’t become a huge mega star by getting trounced by Mayweather, unfortunately. It just doesn’t work like that.

A good start for Khan in becoming somewhat popular in the U.S. would be for him to step up and fight Maidana instead of a small lightweight. There is talk of Amir Khan possibly fighting WBO lightweight interim champion Michael Katsidis next instead of Maidana or some other top fighter from the light welterweight division. 

Amir Khan says “I would love to fight Maidana next. He can punch but is slow and can be hit. I would love to shut him up.” I wasn’t aware that Maidana was doing a lot of talking in the media.

At any rate, this is good news that Khan is interested in fighting Paulie Malignaggi. Of course, Khan said he was interested in fighting Maidana before his bout with Malignaggi, but instead of fighting Maidana, Khan said he wasn’t popular enough in the U.S. for him to fight him right now. Khan then opted to fight Malignaggi. 

Amir Khan needs to show boxing fans that he’s not afraid to fight Maidana, because more than a few think that Khan is running from Maidana and afraid to fight him. Amir Khan could quiet his critics if he stepped up and chose to fight him rather than the lightweight Katsidis.

Amir Khan wants to fight on July 31st, so he’s going to have to make a decision pretty soon about who he will be fighting next. Paulie Malignaggi would be the best opponent if Khan wants to win respect among the hardcore fans, but his promoters want him to fight the better known Michael Katsidis, even though he’s a lot smaller than Amir Khan and fights at a lower weight class.

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