Amir Khan Beats A Game Maidana
By Don Donatello
There is too much being made about Amir Khan’s suspect chin. I believe Khan when he said that his KO loss was due to his struggle with cutting and making weight. He regularly spars with Manny Pacquiao and holds his own. Pacquiao is bigger than Khan and campaigned at Junior Middle against Antonio Margarito and won. Khan is fighting in the Junior Welterweight division. Being battered by Pacquiao, even though it’s a sparring session with head gear, is adequate for me to gauge Khan’s skills and his ability to take a punch.
Marcos Maidana has a huge heart, but he has problems with opponents that move and box. Maidana is a slugger and must get in close to land his punches effectively. Andriy Kotelnik, who covers up well and likes to fight at a distance, beat Maidana. Khan also covers up well and prefers to box, but he is faster and more talented than Kotelnik. Kotelnik and Khan kind of resemble each other in style, sort of. Khan has more of what Kotelnik used effectively against Maidana. Khan should give Maidana a lot more trouble than Kotelnik did.
Khan is too mobile for Maidana. Khan will use the jab and keep Maidana at bay in the early rounds. Maidana will pursue and try to get Khan against the ropes and keep him there, that’s his chance of beating Khan. Unlike Victor Ortiz, Khan is not a careless greenhorn and will not trade punches with Maidana while on the ropes. Khan will give Maidana different looks and utilize a lot of movement.
I don’t see Khan wanting to get into a heated exchange in the early rounds, not while Maidana is fresh and strong. Khan will dictate the tempo of the fight; the action will likely begin to ramp up at the middle rounds. Khan will be comfortably ahead by the late rounds barring a mid-fight knockout.
Khan’s length, movement, speed, and quickness will be too much for Maidana. Maidana will be wobbled, bruised, or cut somewhere in the fight trying to come in. A knockout by Khan is not such a long reach. I see Khan winning in impressive fashion, by either UD or a knockout.
Maidana will always have a puncher’s chance against anyone, but Khan will have to be careless for that to happen. As long as Khan stays within the fight plan that Roach has outlined for him, he will be victorious. Khan has benefited greatly from Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, the Khan who got knocked out against Breidis Prescott is gone. If Khan’s suspect jaw was truly due to weight issues, and he actually has a decent chin, Khan will become mega-star.
He has the looks for it, but he needs to develop a personality of his own. He needs to show more fire. Maidana has a huge heart so I don’t see Khan stopping Maidana by a knockout, but a stoppage by cuts is more likely. Maidana is the kind of opponent that can elevate Khan to the next level. This fight is Khan’s big opportunity to start his path to stardom. If, and I stress if, Khan can stop Maidana in an impressive fashion, he will be right below Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in status. If he squeaks by with a win, he’ll remain a work in progress with great star potential. I predict Khan will win by UD with a performance between good and great.
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