by Hans Olson
In an interview with UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, former Floyd Mayweather challenger Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton weighed in on the prospect of Amir Khan’s chances against Floyd. Khan is widely believed to be at the forefront of potential opponents for Floyd Mayweather to fight on May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“You really have to marvel at how much Amir has come on since he lost to Breidis Prescott three years ago. He has become a formidable boxer. Amir has that in-out style that could give (Floyd) Mayweather problems,” said Hatton, who was knocked out in the tenth round when he fought Mayweather in December 2007. “Floyd likes fighters coming straight at him and Amir has the style to challenge Floyd. I’m not saying he would beat Floyd but I think he has a good chance. I’m a huge fan of Amir and how much hard work he has put into his career to get to the top of the sport.”
At one time, Ricky Hatton himself was near the top of the sport. An undefeated fighter at the time he challenged Mayweather, Ricky gave it his all…unfortunately coming up short. The Floyd Mayweather that beat Ricky Hatton that memorable night in 2007 isn’t so far removed from the Floyd Mayweather we saw in the ring back in September against Victor Ortiz. Still sharp, still dynamic, Floyd Mayweather still looks unbeatable.
But could Amir Khan really do it? One aspect of Ricky’s quote that I found the most interesting was the retreat he made near the end of his statement. “I’m not saying he would beat Floyd but…”
In many ways, that is often the case with Floyd Mayweather.
When you hear Victor Ortiz supporters ranting and raving about how Floyd got out of that one easily, it’s usually followed up with “he may not have won but…”
Just like Shane Mosley “almost” knocked out Floyd in the second round.
Just like Demarcus Corley and Zab Judah “almost” got to Floyd early.
Just like Marquez was too small.
Just like Oscar was too old.
Just like Baldomir wasn’t that good.
Just like Arturo Gatti was too tough.
It’s always the same story.
It’s always something. Amir Khan is young, fast, and dynamic. He has evolved past a chinny prospect to world class prize fighter. Under the tutelage of Freddy Roach, Amir Khan has all the tools in his arsenal to beat Floyd Mayweather.
But can he?
I’m not so sure.
I do know that Amir Khan will give it a go, just as hard as his compatriot Ricky Hatton did. Ricky and Amir are fighters of a different breed. They are willing to challenge the absolute best. Ricky Hatton always did. Considering his resume—Amir Khan has shown to be just as willing. He’s fought slick boxers (McCloskey and Malignaggi), murderous punchers (Marcos Maidana), and veteran champions (Judah). He did just about everything in his power to make a fight with Tim Bradley. Unfortunately, Tim Bradley decided to run. Fighting in someone else’s hometown? Not a problem. Amir’s going to DC to fight Lamont Peterson next month.
Amir Khan is the truth.
But Floyd Mayweather is on another level.
“Almost” will never be good enough against Floyd Mayweather.
If Amir Khan fights Floyd Mayweather…we’ll see if he can get beyond almost.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson