Advertisement
Advertisement

Flaccid “Super Fight” Leaves Amir Khan the Biggest Winner

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

OK, folks, raise a virtual hand if you’ve been there.

After months of breathless anticipation, the big night finally arrives.

The venue is secured. The atmosphere is constructed. The mood is perfected.

In some cases, the money has even changed hands.

But on the morning after, you’re left to re-live pedestrian loops of missionary in place of the riotous soft-core highlights you’d planned for.

In the end, it makes for an unsatisfying walk of shame, without even the tawdry taste of conquest.

And in terms of boxing, it’s the same feeling many gleaned from a ho-hum Saturday in Michigan.

There in the Silverdome-pocked city of Pontiac, a fight prematurely branded as “classic in the making” wound up far too similar to the run-of-the-mill dreck available every weekend in a local ballroom.

Over nine-plus rounds of inglorious combat between America’s two best 140-pounders, few things were proven more certainly than 1) TV’s ability to make an empty lot look full; 2) Don King’s unchallenged status as the game’s most egregious promoter; and 3) Amir Khan’s emergence as the genuine man to beat in the division between Pacquiao and Marquez.

Regardless of who attempted more punches and landed more shots – or whether Devon Alexander could have actually continued after the last of Tim Bradley’s patented “left-right-skull” combos in the 10th – none of what else transpired in the ring approached what the once-beaten 24-year-old U.K. native would surely deliver if matched with either pretender.

Toward that end, British-based color man Jim Watt – whose Scottish brogue was among the few things that made Saturday’s Sky Sports stream worth enduring on a balky Internet connection – was quick to question the reluctant Alexander’s real motive for not enduring until the final bell.

“He seems happy to go home with an excuse if he lost,” the former four-defense lightweight champ said before the cards were read, “and two belts if he won.”

We should all have been so blessed with an early exit strategy.

Following Watt from 3,500 or so miles across the Atlantic, the man who entered the night as a forgotten WBA imposter to Alexander and Bradley’s breathless WBC/WBO billing contentedly sat back as his laurels were magically transformed to the quarry of choice for truly upwardly mobile junior welters.

“I think we’d have a good chance to get a win,” Khan said, when queried in-studio on the post-fight broadcast. “I hope it’s a fight we can make in the summertime this year.”

Fellow Brit Johnny Nelson, ex-WBO cruiserweight claimant who last fought in 2005, went his panel-mate one better in the opinion department while claiming Khan’s prospects were unfailingly good. 

The two were commenting on a proposed unification sequel with Bradley, who escaped with Alexander’s lunch money after securing 97-93, 96-95 and 98-93 verdicts from the aborted bout – an anti-climax unsatisfyingly similar to the Williams/Cintron debacle HBO aired last summer in suburban Los Angeles and the Holyfield/Williams fiasco last weekend in West Virginia.

“It’s an easy fight for Amir,” Nelson said.

And even 48 hours later, it’s awfully hard not to agree.

My own card read 96-94 for the newly-minted two-belt champ – who forced the action, landed harder blows and seemed far more anxious to maintain an unbeaten slate than his ultimately unwilling fellow incumbent from St. Louis.

As it turns out, though, it’s a darn good thing he impressed so few while doing so.

Or we might have had to endure it all again.

Instead, Bradley’s performance was so bland that the lone real obstacle to a Khan date may have been removed if reports hold true that HBO has pulled back from the contracted right to force an immediate rematch between he and Alexander.

That leaves Khan as the most attractive and logical fish at 140, a pool Bradley seems without real choice but to swim in – in spite of repeated harangues that he’s a credible foil for Pacquiao at 147.

Keeping a Filipino showdown on the fantastical future shelf it belongs, it’s difficult enough to comprehend a short-term scenario where the tough but one-dimensional Californian does anything but lose big to a bigger, stronger and more skilled Khan.

The Englishman stands four inches taller at 5-foot-10, packs power that’s yielded six more KOs in three fewer wins, and owns edges in hand/foot speed that would allow him to complete the boxing job Alexander looked intermittently capable of starting while winning rounds 2, 5, 7 and 8.

In fact, if any of the current crop at 140 actually looks capable of making a weight leap, it’s Khan.

The physical edges over most in the current class would still render him viable at 147, while the intangible element of charisma makes him a big ticket for any promoter playing to the casual fan base.

Plus, lest we forget, the always-possible prospect of him being dusted in one round – as he was by then-unbeaten Colombian export Breidis Prescott in 2008 – make his fights must-see TV in the same way Lennox Lewis’s were while he dodged KO disasters after Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman.

Mix it all together in a jam-packed Wembley and you’ve got yourself a tasty main event, whether the trunks in the opposite corner happen to spell Bradley, Marquez, Pacquiao or otherwise.

And if it again proves unworthy of afterglow, well… at least you won’t be stuck in Detroit.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

SATURDAY
WBC super flyweight title – Osaka, Japan
Tomas Rojas (champion) vs. Nobuo Nashiro (No. 7 contender)      
Rojas (34-12-1, 23 KO): First title defense; Three-fight win streak since 2009 (3-0, 2 KO)
Nashiro (14-2-1, 9 KO): Eighth title fight (4-2-1, 2 KO); Twice held WBA title (2006-07, 2008-10)
Fitzbitz says: “Hometown edge provides third championship coronation.” Nashiro by decision

Last week’s picks: 2-2
Overall picks record: 174-56 (75.6 percent)

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz .

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Visceral on 02-02-2011

[QUOTE=SkillspayBills;10045519]I won't lie, this entire article was hard to read with all the damn **** innuendo.[/QUOTE] Says a guy with that avatar.

Comment by Visceral on 02-02-2011

Wow, horribly written perverse article. Just the boxing please.

Comment by SkillspayBills on 02-01-2011

I won't lie, this entire article was hard to read with all the damn **** innuendo.

Comment by The_Demon on 02-01-2011

Good article.Khan/Bradley will be a much more entertaining fight thats for sure,british guys always come too fight and bradley is a warrior

Comment by J Dubb II 330 on 02-01-2011

[QUOTE=AllEyesOpen;10043437]I see where the writers coming from but to be 100% honest Khan wasn't more impressive the Bradley was, the key difference being that Bradley beat a much more skilled oppponent. I consider Khan to be an incredibly skilled and…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (32)
Top Headlines Mike Tyson Lands Role in Reboot of The Kicboxer Franchise Duran Confident Mosley Secures Shot at Thurman-Porter Winner Sugar Ray Leonard: I Told Mayweather I Would Have Beat Him Photos: Ruslan Provodnikov, John Molina Training For War Nate Diaz: I'd Whoop Mayweather, McGregor Asses in One Night! Margarito Says Ramon Alvarez Likely, Wants Canelo Next Roach: Pacquiao Can Return For Canelo, But Floyd is Bigger Draw Hassan N'Dam vs. Swierzbinski, Amar-Demchenko Will Go Ahead Agit Kabayel Helping Tyson Fury Prepare For Klitschko Rematch Casimero is Ready, Wants Roman Gonzalez Unification Next Fortune To McGregor: Forget Mayweather, Shut Up F***ing Yapper! Povetkin's Promoter Embraces WBC Ruling on Deontay Wilder Mike Tyson: Foolish Plan, But Olympic Amateurs Might Beat Pros Anthony Cacace, Barry McGuigan Decide To Part Ways Hearn Urges Haye To Face Whyte To Speed Up Road To Joshua Deontay Wilder Granted Permission To Make Voluntary By WBC Zolani Tete: Haskins and McDonnell are Holding My Titles Kathy Duva To Be Honored At 7th Annual Raging Babe Brunch Jurors Set For All-Star Boxing vs. Canelo/Golden Boy Lawsuit Jazza Dickens (Injury) Pulled From June 4 Liverpool Show Miguel Flores To Face Ruben Tamayo on PBC on FS1 Erislandy Lara Sees No Network Issues in Making Golovkin Fight Casimero Knocks Out Ruenroeng In Four, Wins Flyweight Crown Focal Point: Lebedev Rises To Top Of Red-Hot Cruiserweight Division Keith Thurman: We Don't Yet Know If Kell Brook is 'Really Special' Provodnikov: Golovkin Blows Out Canelo, GGG-Ward is The Fight Michael Buffer on The UK Scene and Tony Bellew Friendship Morrison, Johnson To Return On June 18 In Manchester Parker Eyes War With Joshua, Brushes Off Whyte's Trash Talk Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Shows His Power on The Heavy Bag Groves Feels Murray Never Recovered From Pounding By Golovkin Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Details Strategy, Camp For Molina Teddy Atlas: I Don't Think There is Any Interest in May-Pac Rematch Whyte Eyes Anthony Joshua Rematch: I Want To Whup His Ass! Video: Joel Diaz on Recent Defeats of Victor Ortiz, Tim Bradley Custio Clayton Continues His Streak With Knockout Win Video: Justin Fortune on Khan, Golovkin, McGregor, Canelo, More Miguel Vazquez: I Will Ask Al Haymon To Get Me Adrien Broner Jermell Charlo Tells WBC That He Wants Canelo Alvarez Clash Video: John Molina Talks, Ruslan Provodnikov Crashes Interview
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement