Welterweight contender Florian Marku (11-0-1, 7 KOs) says he wants Amir Khan, Kell Brook, or Conor Benn in his next fight after his fourth-round knockout victory over Chris Jenkins (23-5-2, 8 KOs) last Saturday night at the Newcastle Arena, Newcastle, England.
Marku was cut early against Jenkins. Once he suffered a cut, Marku tagged Jenkins with a massive right hand in the fourth round that turned his legs into jelly.
From there, Marku went for the kill, raining shots on the disoriented Jenkins until referee Steve Gray stopped the fight. The match was officially halted at 1:41 of the fourth.
After the fight, Marku made it clear that he feels he’s ready for Khan, Brook, or Benn in his next fight. However, promoter Ben Shalom threw cold water on the idea of Marku fighting the 35-year-old Khan next, saying it’s “unrealistic’ that fight will happen.
It’s not that Khan-Marku wouldn’t be an entertaining scrap, but more likely to do with Khan needing to face a non-puncher and fighter that is known worldwide to help build interest for a rematch between him and Brook.
Marku isn’t a big enough name for Khan to rebuild himself after his recently sixth-round stoppage loss to Brook last February in Manchester.
Marku says he’s not interested in fighting the less popular fighters, and he only wants the “big names” at this point.
“Nobody did this to Chris [Jenkins] what I did in four rounds,” said Marku to iFL TV, reveling in his victory over Jenkins last Saturday night in Newcastle.
“Everyone saw it, Chris Jenkins had a long reach, and I outboxed a boxer. When our heads clashed and I saw the blood, I didn’t know how deep the cut was and I was afraid that the referee would stop the fight. That made me push the pace and the stoppage came.
“I’m still learning, I’m not pleased with myself,” said Marku. “The people that see me spar in the gym, they know that I have much more to show to the people.
“I am so proud. Now I have the UK fans that are supporting me, stopping me in the streets, and taking photos,” Marku continued. “I’m really happy. When I first started, I would mention names and nobody wanted to fight me.
“Now that my name is getting bigger, the fans want me, the Sky television and all these boxers are mentioning my name. I’m not interested in these kinds of fights, I want bigger fights,” said Marku when told that Chris Kongo (13-1, 7 KOs) wants to fight him.
“Give me Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Conor Bell, these are the types of fights that interest me. I hope Amir Khan doesn’t do the mistake of going in the ring with me. I will finish his career bad.
“I hope not. Yes,” said Marku when asked if Khan is the level of a fight he’s looking for now that he’s beaten Chris Jenkins.
A fight between Khan and Marku is NOT going to happen in this lifetime, so it would be best for the Albanian warrior to focus on a more realistic opponent for his next fight.
Assuming Marku won’t take the fight with Chris Kongo, these guys would be excellent options for his next match-up:
- David Avanesyan
- Josh Kelly
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Rashedi Ellis
- Alexis Rocha
- Blair Cobbs
- Daniyar Yeleussinov
- Josesito Lopez
I have my doubts that Marku can beat any of those fighters, but if he could one of them next, it would result in him being pushed up the rankings at 147.
To be sure, the money that Marku would make in being given a world title shot would be life-changing, but the only way he’s going to get a chance to compete for a belt is by beating fighters like Avanesyan, Rocha, Ellis, Cobbs, and Kavaliauskas.
“This is just the beginning, I haven’t shown nothing yet. I’m still learning,” said Marku.