By Pierre Grimm
Muslim-British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan retained his WBA light-welterweight title on December 11th beating heavy hitting Marcos Maidana by hard fought decision in front of a modest crowd at Mandalay Bay arena in Las Vegas.
Amir Khan’s best attributes are his hand speed and his heart. He doesn’t have the kind of power that makes a guy respect you, although he did land a vicious body shot that sent Marcos Maidana down in the first round and hurt the Argentine fighter badly.
The mistake Amir Khan made in the fight was he didn’t go to the body anymore after he clearly hurt Maidana early in round one with the body punch that sent Maidana to the canvas in pain.
Khan didn’t continue to attack the body and instead he was using the multi-punch-combo get in and get out style that Freddie Roach taught him and Manny Pacquiao to use and it was working until Khan got careless and dropped his hands getting caught with an overhand right in the 10th round that had him badly hurt.
What I didn’t like and I am sure Freddie didn’t like either was Khan’s imitation of his friend and training partner Manny Pacquiao, Khan stood there letting Maidana tee off on him and land some heavy uppercuts to show that his chin was not weak, but the moment Khan got caught with a heavy overhand right backing up with his chin up and hands low, his legs turned to spaghetti and he was hurt on his feet holding on for dear life against Maidana.
Khan wanting to prove that his chin was strong was a foolish move because Manny Pacquiao only does that with guys who are not known as power punchers like Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto, but Khan did that with a guy who is pound for pound one of the hardest punchers in boxing today and that was a dumb move in my eyes.
Khan was boxing beautifully, but his victory will give some people the impression that he isn’t on the level of a Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao or he isn’t the best 140 pounder in the division and Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander are, but what you cannot question is his heart and the quality of opposition he faced on Saturday night, Marcos Maidana is the most dangerous guy at 140, he is a sturdy pressure fighter with one punch knockout power and Khan decided to take him on instead of a soft touch fight and he gets big respect for that.
Freddie Roach has been known for coddling Manny Pacquiao and hand picking his opponents, Khan put his foot down and told Roach that he wanted Maidana even though Roach didn’t. Now only if Manny Pacquiao has the courage to put his foot down and demand to fight a dangerous prime fighter the way his friend Amir did, then maybe Manny could also shut up some of his critics. I would like to see Manny Pacquiao tell Freddie Roach and Bob Arum to let him fight Sergio Martinez at 154 pounds to defend his WBC Junior Middleweight title, who cares about the size do it for the challenge and to shut up the naysayers the same way Amir did against Marcos Maidana.
Khan weathered the storm and survived being staggered in the 10th round, but he showed his championship heart, he still has a lot to prove, but he has one upped Manny Pacquiao in terms of opposition at least he fought the best or one of the best in his division to prove to himself and to the fans that he wasn’t scared to fight tough guys.
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