What people say and what people do in boxing very rarely align, that much is clear. So, when Amir Khan, 30-3 (19KO’s), announced today that he is to face Chris Algieri, 20-1 (8KO’s), in New York on 30th May – aside from the initial thoughts of hypocrisy – I wasn’t at all surprised.
This is the same man who has informed the reigning IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook to consider facing some more notable names, before he would be considered worthy of sharing a ring with him.
Step in Chris Algieri, a man who has fought at 147lbs once in his short professional career and was knocked down 6 times in that fight by Manny Pacquiao back in November. Algieri is a likable guy and a decent fighter, but in a molten welterweight division he’s nowhere to be seen.
This is a fight Amir Khan win’s in second gear.
On the face of things, it makes a mockery of everything Khan has said on the prospective all British clash with arch rival Kell Brook – who has looked in scintillating form since outpointing Shawn Porter on the road and dismantling the outclassed Jo Jo Dan last week.
Unfortunately for Amir on this occasion, I feel the decision is out of his hands and being directed from elsewhere. With the fight likely to be held under the PBC banner all arrows once more point to Mr. Haymon.
So, before we go jumping of the handle with calls of ‘hypocrite’ and ‘delusional’, it’s important to remember that what makes Amir Khan the star he is, is his unflinching belief in his own ability and willingness to take on all comers.
This smells like a business decision, which allows Haymon to preserve Khan as an asset and to take advantage of Algieri’s following in the New York area. It makes sense for all those concerned except, you guessed it, the fans. Especially when you consider the IBF ordered an eliminator to take place between Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan, for the right to challenge Kell Brook next.
It’s hard to complain about the big fights not happening, with 2nd May looming large. However, this will serve as a little reminder that in boxing there will always be room good matchmaking with grand designs in mind.
What those designs are for Amir Khan remains to be seen.
What’s clear is that there are enormous fights out there for him, with or without Mayweather and Pacquiao, but they don’t include Chris Algieri.
Maybe next time, he’ll be careful before telling the world who is and is not worthy of sharing the ring with him. Because if Chris Algieri is ‘A’ class, what are Kell Brook and Timothy Bradley?