By Keith Idec
Bob Arum acknowledged Amir Khan’s chin is the primary reason most potential consumers consider Khan incapable of upsetting Terence Crawford on April 20.
Arum also asserted that Crawford cannot attempt strictly to out-box the former IBF/WBA 140-pound champion in their 12-round, 147-pound title bout a week from Saturday night in New York. According to Arum, whose company promotes Crawford, that strategy will grant England’s Khan a greater opportunity to edge Crawford in a fight Crawford has been installed as a 16-1 favorite to win by numerous odds-makers.
“Khan is training really diligently, from all the reports that we get,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “He’s been super-confident with [trainer Virgil] Hunter and it’s gonna be very, very interesting because Khan is an elite boxer, technically. And Crawford is not one to be shown up by him, as far as his boxing ability. And therefore, Crawford will engage in a boxing contest, in my opinion, with Amir Khan.
“That is not Crawford’s strength in an Amir Khan fight, because Crawford really has to look to see if he can bang this guy out. Because if Khan gets into a boxing contest with Crawford, and it remains a boxing contest for the 12 rounds, Khan has a shot to eke the thing out.”
Crawford has won both of his welterweight fights by technical knockout.
The former lightweight and junior welterweight champion stopped Australia’s Jeff Horn (19-1-1, 13 KOs) in the ninth round to win the WBO 147-pound championship June 9 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In his first title defense, Crawford beat Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1, 18 KOs) by 12th-round TKO on October 13 at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown.
Khan has not been knocked out in any of his four fights contested at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, but Breidis Prescott knocked him out in the first round of a lightweight bout 10½ years ago.
Danny Garcia also knocked out Khan in the fourth round of a junior welterweight fight in July 2012. In May 2016, Canelo Alvarez knocked Khan unconscious in the sixth round of a middleweight match contested at a contractually mandated catch weight of 155 pounds.
“Khan is a great, great boxer,” Arum said. “Technically, he’s great. He has one weakness, which everybody knows, and that is he doesn’t have the greatest chin in the world. So, if you’re gonna box the guy, and you’re not gonna take him out, then you’re sort of evening the playing field. It’s gonna be an intriguing fight. I really believe, in my heart of hearts, that there will be one winner [Crawford] – but it’s an intriguing fight.”
The bout between the 31-year-old Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) and the 32-year-old Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) will be distributed by ESPN as the main event of a four-fight, pay-per-view telecast from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.