A Look At Oisin Fagan, Amir Khan's Comeback Opponent

30.10.08 - by James Slater - Amir Khan and his team must be given credit for not choosing a soft touch for the 21-year-old's December 6th comeback fight. Flattened last time out inside a minute by Colombia's Breidis Prescott, Khan returns to the ring for the first time against tough and capable Irishman Oisis Fagan, an experienced 34-year-old who has been in with some big names and who has only ever been stopped once..

It was feared by more than a few that Khan would pick a nice soft one to restore some of the confidence Prescott took away, but Fagan, a lightweight who has fought up as high as light-welterweight in the recent past, is both a strong enough and a durable enough opponent to make the fans happy. Not a huge puncher - only 13 KO's from his 22 wins (5 losses) - Fagan still hits hard enough to get respect from his opposition.

A pro since early 2003, Fagan, who was born in Dublin, Ireland but now lives in Oklahoma, racked up an initial three wins as a light-welter, all by stoppage, before losing in 4 rounds to Isaac Mendoza. Regrouping, the Irishman won two more, before losing on points to a very familiar name. Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, in his fifth pro fight, scored a 4 round UD over him in Las Vegas. Another win followed for Fagan, before he suffered his third loss, again by a UD, to one Derrick Moon. Since then, however, Fagan has gone 16-2, proving he is a decent enough fighter.

Boxing mostly in Oklahoma, the man nicknamed "Gael Force" picked up some so-so wins as he kept himself extremely active (seven fights in 2006 alone). Then, in March of 2007, he had his biggest fight to date. Meeting former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora in Michigan, Fagan came close to getting a win. Losing a close split decision over 10-rounds to the come-backing former champ who never lost his title in the ring (and indeed has never lost) the Irishman put on a good show.

Winning another three fights afterwards, Fagan then suffered his most recent defeat. Again going down via a split decision, he was out-scored by the once-beaten Verquan Kimbrough in a USBA lightweight title fight in December of last year. Fagan has won two since, boxing in New York and then in Ireland. More experienced than Khan at pro level, what kind of fight can we expect in London on December 6th?

A typical pre-Prescott blow-out, the kind we had grown accustomed to in many of Khan's fights, is in no way likely. He may be getting on somewhat in years at age 34 and he may be less powerful than the former Olympic sliver medallist, but Fagan is a physically strong and determined fighter who will be coming to win. Used to fighting light-welterweights, the Irishman will not be pushed around by Khan. Indeed, Khan may be the one who gets out-muscled at times.

Look for a fight that goes into the later rounds, if not actually goes the distance. Again, Khan must be given credit for taking this more than credible fight as his first one back after the Prescott disaster. An upset by Fagan cannot be ruled out - after all, we don't know how affected Khan was long-term by his 54-second loss - but this writer picks Khan to win on points in a fight that will do him far more good than any quick KO win would.

Article posted on 30.10.2008

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