ATE: Amir Khan Special
Amir Khan: HoganPhotos.com
In today’s special edition of Ask The Editor (ATE), we take a closer look at British lightweight boxer Amir Khan, his recent controversial boxing win over Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera and consider what the future holds for him.
Name : Tom Trevino
Country : USA
Your Question :
I saw the cut on Barrera’s scalp after the clash of heads with Khan. 1st question: Why do you believe the fight was not stopped immediately? 2nd question: Do you believe there should be an immediate rematch?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Tom, I think the fight should have been stopped within the first two rounds and I wouldn’t have any problems with seeing rematch. Don King has filed a protest, so we’ll see.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: I can only guess that the referee kept the fight going with the large live crowd in mind, hoping that Barrera’s corner would be able to stop the bleeding. There is immense pressure on the referee in these circumstances. Surely upon the first doctor’s inspection, it was obvious that the huge cut was not going to get any better. The fight should have been stopped before the end of round 3, meaning it was a no contest or technical draw, depending what part of the world you come from. Either way, Barrera should not have a loss on his record, Khan should not have got the win and we should all be looking forward to a rematch.
MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I don’t know why the fight wasn’t stopped earlier, Tom. It should have been, but I really don’t think that warrants an immediate rematch. I would have been very surprised if Khan had failed to defeat an uninjured Barrera, so I’m sure it’ll be on to bigger things for the young Brit going forward.
Name : Richard McFeeters
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Seems to me that Frank Warren’s Coming of Age show should have been subtitled Night of the Glass-Jawed Brits’. Khan managed to avoid being exposed again, and credit to him for showing a vastly improved defence, but it is surely only a matter of time before someone connects with him again. Pryce, Maccarinelli and Cook, who have all been exposed before, weren’t so lucky. I’m not sure any of them will go beyond domestic level again. My point is why do such a large proportion of so-called world class British fighters have punch resistance problems? You can add David Haye to this list. Previous champions like Lewis and Hamed were suspect too. Americans have always been derisory about our fighters, although Hatton and Calzaghe have gone some way to redressing this. Just wondered also who your top five chinny bangers are?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Richard, I don’t buy into British fighters having weaker chins than other fighters…there’s plenty of American and Latin fighters getting starched all the time, also. By “chinny bangers,” I assume you’re talking about heavy punchers? Here’s a top five off the top of my head:
1) Earnie Shavers
2) Julian Jackson
3) Gerald McClellan
4) Naseem Hamed
5) George Foreman
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: It is not just boxers from the UK. Boxers all around the world are being wobbled, knocked out and labelled chinny. As for some “chinny bangers”, I’ll throw some old and current names out there and await the backlash!
1) Wladimir Klitschko
2) Zab Judah
3) Floyd Patterson
4) Terry Norris
5) Roy Jones Jr.
MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I take it that you are looking for a list of past and present British chinny bangers. Some that come to mind are:
1) Frank Bruno
2) Enzo Maccarinelli
3) Herbie Hide
4) Paul Ryan
5) And the subject of this ATE special, Amir Khan.
Name : Thomas Peak
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
I would like to get your opinion on the laughable career of Amir Khan. I don’t know if it just me or if there was something seriously wrong with his fight against Barrera. Never in a million years could the Mexican have won... to me the victor was as obvious as in the Pacquiao-De La Hoya ’superfight’. Watching all the build up and hype to that fight made me very confused. I was dumbfounded that anybody believed De La Hoya had the slightest hope of winning, after all in five years he had won only two fights, I believe, one of which (against Felix Sturm) was possibly the worst decision outside of Germany in a decade. He was going in against the pound for pound best fighter in the world, and was just lucky to escape with his health really. The same confusion, this time tinged with anger, came over me whilst watching Khan and Barrera unfold. Khan is a very large lightweight. Barrera started his career at flyweight for goodness sake! He is also 35 years old and a long, long way passed his best. His last two fights were in the backwaters of China and Mexico and only 6-7 weeks before the fight he was in a vicious scrap where a huge cut was opened. The same cut that Khan opened perhaps? So, even in beating this old midget (Khan’s favourite hobby) Amir just managed to open an old wound. It is incredible that Amir Khan was doubted by some to win this bout and for me that says more about his fragility and lack of fighting stomach than about what Barrera had left in the tank. After the fight Khan said he believed he had proved everybody wrong. In fact Amir, it is quite the opposite. What you proved is that you are brilliant at defeating old, way passed their prime (or men who never had a decent prime) fighters who are usually also both tiny in stature (flyweights have featured a few times on his C.V) and punch. So no Mr Khan, beating Barrera did not prove you are a decent fighter. Once in your career have you fought a young hungry genuine lightweight, in fact a lightweight who was less experienced both as a n amateur and pro so you even gave yourself the slight theoretical edge there. Allow me to remind you what happened, as I doubt you can remember, you were blown away in about 90 seconds. I don’t know how many more opponents like Barrera (who help fool the public) Warren and Amir can dig up?
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Thomas, you really held back there, didn’t you? Agreed, Khan’s got a long way to go, no doubt. However, he’s only had 21 professional fights and guys like Khan fight guys like Barrera all the time at this point in their respective careers. Chances are Khan stumbles again down the line, but let’s see how he manages to come back if and when a bad loss occurs again.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: Thomas peak goes in and flurries hard against Amir Khan! Well thought out contribution. The only thing I would disagree with is Barrera’s weight. Barrera at his best would still have beaten Khan. But Barrera is not the Barrera of old anymore. I don’t believe Khan won the fight. Let’s see a rematch. The fact is that every time Khan fights, someone is going to bring up the loss to Breidis Prescott. Only one way to change that. Avenge the knockout loss in a rematch.
MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: I wouldn’t say that Khan’s relatively young career has been laughable, Thomas. I do, however, agree that his victory over Barrera should be taken in context – both in terms of the Mexican legend’s odometer reading and the horrific cut that certainly hindered his ability to fight at full capacity. Khan has little choice now but to step way up in class and face the dangers of the lightweight elite and we’ll all see what happens.
Name : Davey Hayes
Country : United Kingdom
Your Question :
Is it just me or is there something very suspect going on with the career of our very own Amir Khan? I found the entire aftermath of the Barrera fight to be somewhat surreal and I’m starting to think boxing as a whole is becoming a joke. Some of the points raised within this post are slightly tongue in cheek and come across like a bizarre conspiracy, but I can’t help but think true boxing fans are being taken for a fool. Lets rewind to 6th September 2008. A young hungry fighter called Breidis Prescott demolishes British star in progress Amir Khan in 54 seconds. The country responds with a mix of shock and amazement, questions are asked about Khan’s ability and people want to see more of this monster Prescott. Then....
1. Prescott disappears without a trace, and any momentum gained from his astonishing victory fizzles out.
2. Amir Khan returns against a tough but limited fighter who can’t continue 2 rounds in after breaking his leg (!).
3. Still no sign of the other guy, what’s his name again? Brendan Prodcock?
4. Warren announces Khan to fight Mexican legend Barrera, a frenzy of interest occurs and people are suddenly talking about boxing again. Opinion is split on who will win.
5. Barrera has a warm up against a complete unknown, who proceeds to head butt Barrera, open a nasty cut and then gets disqualified.
6. Prescott finally fights again, up against an unknown in a small hall on American TV.
7. Khan fights Barrera and amazingly, a head clash causes a nasty cut on Barrera’s head in the 1st round. The referee lets the fight continue, with Barrera literally fighting with one eye. Khan proceeds to do what he does best, land some dazzling combinations. The fight should be stopped in the 1st, then the 2nd, but finally gets stopped in the 5th when, conveniently, it would now go to the scorecards, even though the cut is as bad in round 5 as it was in 1 and 2.
8. Who knows what the outcome would have been had the cut not occurred? However I think any boxing fan could agree that the outcome as it was pretty unconvincing? I think 99% of fighters on the planet would admit that it’s hardly a satisfying way to win a fight. But not Khan, he goes straight on the mic and tells everyone how he has proved all his critics wrong. He tells everyone how he’s just convincingly battered a living legend. Warren and Roach get in on the act, forcing anyone who’ll listen to believe that Khan is back! Just about every mainstream British tabloid writes big articles about how Khan is now ready for world domination after hammering the legend of Barrera. Is it just me or does all this hype seem somewhat false? It’s almost like they are hoping if they say it often enough, and the mainstream media get involved, then we’ll start to believe what they’re saying.
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Davey, I doubt there was any conspiracy, but you make some excellent observations. I think Khan-Barrera should have be ruled a “no contest” after one or two rounds because of the cut. You can’t blame Khan for being happy afterwards…he did his job. And you can’t blame Frank Warren for looking to “revamp” his charge by avoiding Prescott again, for the time being. Not that you or I or anyone else likes it, but this “conspiracy” is how the business of boxing works - with some added coincidences in this case.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: You couldn’t script a better scenario for a conspiracy theory movie thriller could you! The most amazing thing is that all of that happened for real. Some planning involved, but the most of it was just the way the cookie crumbled. I’ve said this before in ATE and will let you in on it again. Boxing is not a sport. It’s a business. Keep that in mind and you will then understand why most things occur as they do in boxing.
MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: Khan did what he needed to do against Barrera. He showed poise and improvement on both sides of the ball. By taking and winning the Barrera fight he’s bottlenecked his future options and must now bite the bullet and fight the very best in the 130lbs division. We’ll see how he does against a Marquez, Diaz (Juan or Julio) or Guzman, I’m looking forward to finding out.
Name : Richard Gardner
Country : Ireland
Your Question :
Alright lads, great website. Was just wondering what you thought about Amir Khan’s last performance against MAB? Personally, I thought he performed well, however, he got lucky with the clash of heads in the 1st. As MAB has said, the fight should have been stopped there. I also felt that, on the two occasions that MAB did land, Khan wobbled. Cannot really see Khan moving any further forward, for instance against the likes of Guzman and Diaz, because of that glass jaw. Still, it will be exciting to watch! Would be grateful for your comments.
GREG JUCKETT ANSWERS: Richard, whether Khan was fortunate against Barrera to have the fight officiated the way it was, is speculation at this point. Khan got the victory, but is still clearly in need of more polishing. The guy has only had 21 pro fights. A lot of very good fighters have had questionable chins. Time will tell how Khan endures.
PAUL UPHAM ANSWERS: The key question now is will Khan give Barrera a rematch? If he does, you give him credit. You could read a lot into that. If Khan never fights Barrera again, it will be another question mark on his career. No doubt, the fight should have been stopped.
MICHAEL NORBY ANSWERS: You’re right, Richard. Khan didn’t like it at all when Barrera got through with a couple of looping punches but all in all I think he did well. He displayed greater poise and awareness throughout the fight and will go forward with confidence. Whether or not that confidence will help him when he takes a few licks from the fighters you mention is another question.