by Charles Jay
Amir Khan is not a complete fraud.
He’s just never been as good as most of you thought he was.
Truth be told, Britain doesn’t produce all that many legitimate fighters who can compete on even terms with the best of the best on the world scale, so they fuss over a lot of them who aren’t quite top-of-the-line.
For every Joe Calzaghe or Carl Froch, who have stared down the best their division has had to offer and came out on top more often than not (indeed, Calzaghe was unblemished), there’s an Amir Khan, who has been so consciously steered during his pro boxing career that he became conditioned to believing that titles won outside the ring are just as legitimate as those won inside of it.
And perhaps now the public knows the difference.
This reporter, for one, hopes that he’s seen and heard enough of him for a while.
He’s gotten a lot of mileage out of his Olympic medal and the big contract he signed to turn professional. He was carefully handled, protected, and guided into a position where he could venture where all too many fighters have been going these days – to the acquisition of a world title belt without ever really proving himself to be championship timber.
Here in the United States he was shoved down the audience’s throat. There was nothing particularly charismatic about him or stylish about his presence, inside or outside the squared circle. He was just another guy who could fight a little and had a lot of money behind him.
His performance against Danny Garcia, where he got knocked on his ass three times, was so lame that it has been suggested by Froch, who has not even half of Khan’s natural talent but a hundred times the heart and guts (something a lot of “analysts” didn’t seem to understand prior to his fighting Lucien Bute) that he retire.
Froch fully understands what we’ve just pointed out about him, juxtaposed to the more coddled Khan, although we think he might be giving himself a little more credit for pure talent. But in the process of asserting that he would have quit the sport of he had lost to Bute, he also explained to British reporters why Khan should take a powder:
“Why? Because I am not in this sport to get beaten, knocked out, or outclassed,” Froch said. “It’s a personal decision whether or not you retire, but to get stopped in the fourth round and to be previously knocked out, it’s just very, very damaging.”
Ah yes, that previous knockout. In the one instance where his handlers might have either underestimated the opponent or overestimated the chin of their own charge – whichever you prefer – Khan was stretched inside of ONE MINUTE by one Breidis Prescott, who by the way was undefeated and had just beaten Richard Abril, a recent loser by split decision to unbeaten Brandon Rios.
Moving forward from that moment in time, who deserved a title shot more; the guy who scored the one-round knockout or the one who was blasted out in the first round? Yet Prescott never got a world championship opportunity, while Khan only had to beat opponent type Oisin Fagan and washed-up Marco Antonio Barrera to get his.
Say what you want about “flukes” and then go watch the KO. Gee, we don’t even think Prescott needed to be on steroids to whack Khan out. And remember that advancement based on what happens in the ring is what advances the sport itself, despite what the bullshit Golden Boy/Ring Ratings have to say.
That’s why you’ve read from this pen about what a cry baby Khan is. When you heard him say “Justice has been done” after the WBA took the belt from Peterson and gave it to him, it was patently obvious he was full of shit. Where was the justice for Breidis Prescott?
They were chomping at the bit to “get the win back” with a rematch against Lamont Peterson, but they weren’t so anxious to avenge that first loss, were they? You can bet your ass they weren’t going anywhere near that left hook of Prescott. You don’t need to move past Boxing 101 to figure that one out. A second KO loss to the same man would have spelled the end to one more prima donna’s career.
But it also should have told a lot of people about what Khan’s own handlers thought of him; that they didn’t have enough confidence to get some payback, not in a legitimate challenge to his ability to take a punch.
Rematches for Khan have been more beneficial when they have been fought using the political process, as well as the devices of Golden Boy, which owns and operates the Ring Ratings. So why actually go into battle? They could have postponed; waited for a hearing for Peterson before the Nevada commission, and then monitored Lamont’s intake of the “evil” banned substance.
Of course, what not enough people ask is why Peterson would even be open to admitting taking synthetic testosterone before their fight unless its was in the spirit of legitimate medical treatment. And guess what folks – that didn’t make the difference in the fight either. No, once they had an opening, that fight was nixed, and they were all too willing to go after a championship through administrative means.
No matter; Peterson will soon enough be back in action, and he’ll get another opportunity; perhaps even for Garcia’s newly-won Golden Boy/Ring “title,” which wouldn’t be legitimate even if it wasn’t owned by a promoter, because Juan Manuel Marquez, who is #6 in Ring’s “pound-for-pound” rankings but was only #6 in the 140-pound division, despite owning a 140-pound belt (the WBO’s), should have been #1 all along.
This reporter has news for you; regardless of what happens, Lamont Peterson is likely to be around some time after the “Khan Job” goes down as a footnote in boxing history.