Maidana’s Mission: Get Khan!

Khan vs MaidanaBy P.H. Burbridge - The business of boxing is like a high stakes shell game where fans are led through a maze of misdirection and utter nonsense for the purposes of tricking them into putting their money down. Modern fighters have embraced the theatrical side of the game more these days then at any other time in our history. The boxing press isn’t so much reporting news these days, its spreading gossip and feeding the 24 hour news cycle. Fighters imply this and lie about that and their teams do exactly the same thing. Everybody’s getting into the act, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, members of the entourage, etc…Role players who in years past used to intentionally stay out of the limelight but who now feel they have a right to express their inner most thoughts. It’s hard to determine what’s actually going on in a fighter’s career by listening to all the various statements coming out of his camp. I choose to focus on their actions and/or lack there of.

Marcos Maidana is finding out the hard way that being a successful fighter sometimes has more to do with how the press perceives you than your actual success in the ring. Fighters and their teams are now doing what promoters have been doing since the beginning of time, manipulating the masses! Or, at least trying to! Example, (and this is an oldie but a goodie!) when you have no interest in putting your hot property in with a particular fighter yet the fight public seems to be demanding it you simply make that fighter an absurd offer that NO ONE in their right mind would agree to and when he inevitably scoffs you announce to the fight public that YOU offered him the fight and HE failed to sign so you HAD to move on!! You never disclose that you offered him a breakfast coupon from Denny’s in lieu of an actual purse.. That part you leave out. Misdirection and bull s**t! That’s what we get instead of the fights we want. The latest guy to use the press and other media tools in such a ridiculous manner is Amir Khan. He’s a young fighter who has powerful backers and the highest profile trainer in the game and because of it he starting to show a star like arrogance. It’s amazing that so many young fighters read their name on the web or in print and all of a sudden start believing they’re “stars”. The boxing public is brutal and fickle. This fan base is a no BS group who operate on the premise that if you say you’re #1 then you should beat the other guys who also say they’re #1. Khan hasn’t come close to doing that.

For the last year the name Marcos Maidana has been brought up when ever there’s been serious discussion amongst the fan base of who Khan needs to face to legitimize his status in the 140 lb division. You’ve got Maidana, Bradley, Alexander, etc…but Maidana’s name is the most prominent of the 3 in relation to Khan because they’ve engaged in a very public feud. The overall perception for some fight fans is that Golden Boy Promotions and Freddie Roach are being very careful NOT to match Khan against the hard punching Maidana. The matchmaking and recent record of Khan does have a decidedly light punching overtone which further fuels suspicion of Khan’s “chin issue”.

So, what do you do if you’ve got a potential superstar in the sport and the overall sense amongst the team is that if you put him in with the wrong type of guy this whole campaign could come to a screeching halt? Well, logic dictates that you avoid that type of fighter! The problem with doing that is that fight public often times raises its hand and asks “why won’t you fight so and so?” As a fighter or a promoter you can’t allow the perception that you’re avoiding certain fighters so you must create a sense amongst the fans that you ”tried” to make that fight happen BUT it was your potential opponent who actually didn’t want it. “It’s him, not me!” That tactic has worked for ever in this sport and many a fighter has been left out in the cold because of it.

One thing is clear, Khan has potential to be a significant player in this sport but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll become one because another knockout loss at this point in his career and he could go the way of so many fighters whose shine has been permanently removed. Once you start getting knocked out people tend to view you as limited and perception in boxing drives everything. We’re not there yet with Khan but one thing has become abundantly clear and this is not some boxing scribe spin, Khan is doing what I have always cursed Floyd Mayweather Jr for doing and that’s throwing up one smoke screen after another and simply not making fights! Who knows, and at the end of the day, who cares what the reasons are. The end result is that the most interesting fights aren’t being made.

Regardless if you believe it or not all the signs are there of a fighter and a promotional company not overly anxious to make a match with a guy who for all intense purposes offers the biggest threat to Khan’s career. December 11th is the target date and Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer has gone on record stating that he has offered both fighters that date on HBO. Maidana apparently is more than dissatisfied with the offer and has asked the WBA to call for a purse bid which essentially allows other promotional companies the opportunity to bid on promoting the fight. This is no surprise. Golden Boy promotes both guys and its quite clear who is being groomed to be a big star and who is not. They wanted to feed the smaller, older Juan Manuel Marquez to Khan not too long ago and there have been numerous rumors circulating that a behind the scenes effort was being made to stop Marcos Maidana from publicly calling out Khan with a feint promise of future HBO dates. Again, who knows….

But here’s my bottom line, I think Amir Khan beats Marcos Maidana with his technique and his speed but I also think he and his team are showing their hand so to speak with all of this misinformation and innuendo. In other words, all the damn posturing in the press!

Even though I think he beats Maidana I’m starting to think THEY aren’t so sure!

The Maidana fight is exactly what Amir Khan NEEDS to stake his claim so if for some reason it fails to happen then I personally think he remains the #3 guy in the division behind Bradley and Alexander.

For Maidana, if he can’t get Khan then he must challenge and AGREE to fight one of the other two top guys to prove he’s actually for real.

The fact that Khan may have avoided him doesn’t exactly mean that he’s great because he was getting his ears boxed off until he starched Cayo and in the Corley fight he once again proved to be an inconsistent performer. I have real questions about his stamina and his technique.

If Amir Khan is the guy Golden Boy Promotions keeps telling us he is then we need him to prove it in the ring not on his Twitter page.

He can beat all the Paulie Malinaggi’s and Dmitriy Salita’s he wants but until he either makes the Maidana deal a reality or avenges his devastating knock out loss against Breidis Prescott that belt he wears around his waist won’t even hold up his pants!

(Please feel free to contact P.H. Burbridge via email at with any comments or feedback.)

Article posted on 13.09.2010

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