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 Kid Galahad: Brook Will Beat Golovkin in Style, Box His Ears Off! Malignaggi: I Wouldn't Mind a Shot at David Peralta Next P. Fury: Brook in a Win-Win Position Against Gennady Golovkin David Price Eager To Face Joseph Parker on Joshua Card Crolla Very Motivated To Topple Jorge Linares in 'Legacy Fight' Ricky Burns, if He Beats Relikh, To Land Adrien Broner Next? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV: Strange Twist in Waiter Lawsuit Lauren's Trainer: Svensson Never Fought Anyone on This Level Teddy Atlas: Nobody at 147 is in a Hurry To Face Errol Spence Abel Ramos Breaks Down Juan Jesus Rivera in Six Rounds Edwards Gaining Steam in Camp as Casimero Bout Nears "Fighting Words" - Guerrero, Angulo and the Right Time To Go Canelo: Ready To Face Golovkin? He Has To Be Ready For Me! Two Olympians Investigated For Gambling Allegations in Rio Sammy Valentin Joins WBO Drug Free Kids Movement In Tampa Canelo, Smith No Longer VADA Testing - No Cause For Concern Peralta: I Was a Sad Cab Driver, Now I'm a Happy Boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov Denies Promotional Deal, Eyes Olympics Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks James DeGale Unification, More Photos: Shakur Stevenson Sports TMT Hat at Homecoming Parade Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II Ian Tims Joins MGM, Will Return Soon Chocolatito vs. Cuadras: Ryan Martin Added To The Card Video: Peralta on The Journey From Cab Driver To Contender Video: Robert Guerrero Reflects on Shocking Loss To David Peralta Langford Not Bothered By Trash Talk From Eubank Jr. and English Kovalev's Promoter: Tickets For Ward Bout Are Reasonably Priced Photos: Miguel Marriaga, Jose Felix Get Big Knockout Wins Golovkin's Promoter on Carl Froch: You Can't Force Guys To Fight Photos: David Peralta With Cinderella Shocker of Robert Guerrero Golovkin's Coach: We'd Fight Andre Ward, But He Can't Make 168 Frank Warren Smiles: Chris Eubank Jr. Can't Run Away This Time! Hernandez Will Head Back To 154 After Stunning Alfredo Angulo Hammer Backs Klara Svensson To Defeat Mikaela Lauren Daniela Bermudez Stuns Mariana Juarez in Mexico City Shields Leaves Door Open For Third Olympic Gold in 2020 Mayweather: They Ask a Thousand Times - I'm NOT Coming Back! Guerrero Claims Robbery: I Clearly Won, 116-112 Score Was Crazy! Peralta: I Was a Cab Driver, Now I Beat Robert Guerrero!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement